KUALA NERUS: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is seriously discussing the importance of setting up a vaccine development research centre, to enable the country to manufacture its own vaccines.

Deputy Minister Ahmad Amzad Hashim said the setting up of the centre was seen as crucial to deal with the spread of Covid-19 or any other infection or pandemic in the future.

“We have had biotech (biotechnology) laboratories at one time in the past, but not much focus was put on them. But in terms of expertise we have many experts in this field (biotech) in Malaysia.

“It’s only that we cannot confirm that the vaccine will be produced in the near future. It needs to be understood that the production of one vaccine involves a long process of up to two years and may involve an allocation of hundreds of millions,” he told reporters after launching the TanyaDoktor.com website application here yesterday.

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZa) is the first public university to provide free online health and nutrition consultation to the people of Terengganu. The service can be accessed at www.tanyadoktor.com.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Amzad said Mosti had awarded a RM50,000 research grant to UniSZa to develop the ‘Covid-19 Health Risk Assessment And Self Evaluation System’ (CHaSe) which can detect and manage the risk of Covid-19 infection.

He added the system used Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technology to detect and manage the risk of Covid-19 infection, and for a start it would be implemented among the university’s staff and students. – Bernama

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