Covid-19 vaccine may be ready by early next year: Chinese medical expert

Mobile vaccination teams went out across Samoa on Thursday and Friday. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2, 2020, Bernama. A vaccine for Covid-19 is expected to be ready by the end of this year or early next year if its ongoing development process in China runs smoothly, according to a medical expert from China, Malay Mail reported.

Doctor and postdoctoral researcher of Sun Yat-sen University in China, Sun Jiufeng, said the republic was currently developing two different vaccines, with both now in phase two of clinical trials which were expected to complete this May or June.

He said once the phase-two results were ready, they would then move into phase three of clinical trials, which might take more time to complete and would involve more volunteers.

“Currently, the whole world has been accelerating the development of vaccines. If everything goes smoothly, then maybe we can see the vaccine by the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

“However, for the actual application of this vaccine, because the need is really high, I think it’s safe to say that the vaccine will be used on patients definitely in the next year,” he said, speaking through a translator.

He said this during an exclusive interview with Bernama and The Star at the Chinese embassy here today.

Sun said his team had held discussions with Malaysia and it had shown high interest to participate in the development of the vaccine in China, especially in phase three of clinical trials.

“If we actually cooperate on this, then it will no doubt accelerate the time for the vaccine development and also it would sooner bring a lot of benefit to Malaysia,” he added.

Also present at the interview were the chief physician, professor and postgraduate supervisor of the Integrated Chinese and Western Emergency Medicine, Li Jun, and associate professor, postgraduate supervisor, associate chief physician of ICU, Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Wen Miaoyun.

Meanwhile, Li said there has been much debate on alternative treatments for Covid-19 which have shown no clinical proof of their effectiveness.

However, he said, traditional Chinese medicine has been largely applied to treat Covid-19 patients in the country and has proven to be quite effective.

“We have shared our experience on this effectiveness with our Malaysian colleagues. We also hope if the situation allows, Malaysia could introduce traditional Chinese medicine in treating Covid-19 as soon as possible to bring benefit to patients.

“The specific medication is different depending on patients and situations. So we applied different medications for different patients and made sure they were suitable for those situations,” he added.

The team of eight medical professionals from China arrived in Kuala Lumpur on April 18 and met local experts including Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah recently.

Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham reportedly said these medical experts from China lauded Malaysia for its quick and effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including by enforcing the movement control order.

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