Your Title

PUTRAJAYA: The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any animal driven product or restricted material, said Malaysia’s Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

Dr Adham said AstraZeneca has provided a statement to declare that AZD1222 does not contain any animal driven product and all excipients have vegetable origin.

AZD1222 also does not contain any of the restricted materials - porcine-derived material, gelatin of porcine animal origin, animal-derived glycerin, stearic acid, lactose, products derived from shellfish or non-scaly fish, and wheat starch, he said in a statement today.

It was reported that Indonesia’s Muslim clerical council, the Indonesia Ulema Council, had posted on its website that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was “haram” because the manufacturing process uses “trypsin from the pork pancreas.”

AstraZeneca, in response, reportedly said that its vaccine contains no pork-derived ingredients.

According to Dr Adham, porcine trypsin was only used during the development of the T-REx-293 cell line.

He said the trypsin was not in direct contact with the actual cell banks used in the manufacturing process but was used far upstream on the host cells, and therefore was not deemed to be present in the Drug Substance and Drug Product.

“Nevertheless, AstraZeneca has to provide test result to confirm there is no residual of porcine material in the final product as one of the conditions of registration,” he said.

Dr Adham said the Health Ministry was committed to ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of vaccines and the public were advised to refer to information from official media and announcements by the ministry.

On Wednesday, Dr Adham said the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is safe for use in Malaysia.

He said the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine safety data, obtained from clinical studies as of Nov 4, 2020, involving 12,000 volunteers, showed that no serious side effects were reported.

The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was approved for registration by the Drug Control Authority (DCA) on March 2. — Bernama