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Malaysia’s Developing Two COVID-19 Vaccines

Malaysia’s Developing Two COVID-19 Vaccines

And here’s what you need to know about the mRNA vaccine type.

Maya Suraya

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In a statement made today (June 13), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba has revealed that Malaysia is developing two types of Covid-19 vaccines under the Institute for Medical Research (IMR).

It is part of our efforts to increase our capacity for vaccine development, as well as in preparing for future pandemics.

Dr Adham in a statement on Sunday (June 13)

The two vaccines in progress are the ribonucleic acid vaccine or messenger RNA vaccines (mRNA) and the inactivated vaccine types.

Malaysia currently offers three vaccines under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. They are Pfizer-BioNTech (an mRNA vaccine), Sinovac (inactivated vaccine) and AstraZeneca (Adenovirus-Based vaccine).

Explaining coronavirus vaccine types to science-challenged people

The best Covid-19 vaccine is the first one that is available to you. However, if you want to know more about how these vaccines work, Verywell Health published an article with experts sharing creative explanations on how mRNA technology works.  

Dr. Tom Frieden, a physician trained in infectious diseases, compared the vaccine to e-mails and Snapchat.

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) likens the mRNA as a deleted email or a disappearing Snapchat. It doesn’t actually do anything to your immune system or the virus but instead sends instructions to your body’s inbox to interpret it. And then, it gets erased.

If music is more your preference over e-mails, then think of it as the catchiest part of a song.

Dr Amar Kelkar, a current fellow at the University of Florida Health division of hematology and oncology, likens mRNA to the catchiest part of a song. That part of the song, or the protein, in this case, will be so recognizable that your body will be able to detect it later on if the virus enters your body.

While there weren’t any creative explanations to what an inactivated vaccine is, the tl;dr version is that its genetic code triggers the body to make viral proteins (not the whole virus) which is enough to train the immune system to attack.

READ MORE: Should Malaysia Follow The Philippines And Not Tell You What Vaccine You’re Getting?

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