In an interview with the Star Newspaper, Prof Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said it was possible for a vaccine to be available by this year but it would depend on the regulatory agencies.
“There are half a dozen candidate vaccines in Phase 3 trials but because of the nature of the vaccines, the trial evaluation takes time. What level of evidence will be acceptable to regulatory agencies will decide which vaccines will be approved first,” he said.
As such, he said the earliest the country would see an approved safe and effective vaccine would be next year.
Dr Awang Bulgilba also said with many developed nations bulk purchasing the vaccines in advance, it was a cause for concern and vaccine diplomacy would play a crucial role.