Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia’s immunity study on ex-Covid-19 patients important to see how long antibodies can last
October 15, 2020 | News | No Comments
The Health Ministry’s immunity study on patients who have recovered from Covid-19 is crucial to know how long antibodies built up against the virus can last in a person’s body, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
Referring to the immunity study which he had earlier asked for volunteers from recovered Covid-19 patient to join, Dr Noor Hisham said blood samples will be taken and the medical history and experience of patients who underwent treatment would also be studied.
“And we will look at the effectiveness, that is the antibodies response in the patient’s body, whether this antibody will remain or whether the antibodies will deteriorate after treatment,” he said in a press conference that was broadcast live on the Health Ministry’s Facebook page.
“If we look at our earlier studies, a group in Sungai Lui for example, we find that the antibodies were increasingly declining after eight weeks.
“So we need more patients to step forward, so we can use the blood for us to see to test, and how long the antibody remains in a person’s body, whether it will deteriorate after three months or not.
“So this is important for us to see, if antibodies deteriorate after three months, so it is possible that that patient can be reinfected, or if we see other studies about the long-term effects to organs, whether there are side effects or long-term effects to the patient after recovery,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a question on why the invitation to join the study was done openly through Facebook, and what were the guarantees that the data on former Covid-19 patients would not be circulated to third parties.
In the press conference, he did not address the issue of the guarantee of the confidentiality of Covid-19 patients. The Health Ministry has, however, practised a policy of not naming any Covid-19 patients.
Last night, Dr Noor Hisham had in a Facebook post made the call for Malaysians who had recovered from Covid-19 to volunteer for the study by a group of researchers from the Health Ministry’s National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Institute for Medical Research.
The study, which runs from August 2020 to July 2022, has been approved by the Health Ministry’s Medical Research and Ethics Committee.
Those who require further information are urged to contact:
1. Dr Rafiza Shaharudin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via phone number 03-33627753
2. Dr Masita Arip (email@example.com ) or via phone number 03-33627735