MOH News
Bin Saeed: “MERS-CoV Vaccine Conference Continues with Good and Encouraging Pace”
14 November 2015
His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed highlighted that the international conference on MERS-CoV Vaccine Researches continues its sessions at King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh with good and encouraging pace. “The activities of the conference started on Saturday with a meeting of donors (Led by the Kingdom), in the presence of international bodies,” said bin Saeed, who added that the main topic of the meeting is acquainting the donors with expectations of scholars who, in turn, familiarizing themselves with the donors' ideas. He stated that the talks were so effective to identify the role of each side, hoping that the conference outcomes will meet aspirations of the Ministry of Health (MOH), which has earnestly been looking for means of developing the vaccine, in parallel with the plans and programs of prevention and treatment.
 
Bin Saeed highlighted: “The importance and sensitivity of this conference necessitates complete clarity, indicating that media is a main partner in attaining the conference’s objectives, particularly because the scholars and experts who responded to the Ministry's invitation are among the most distinguished elements in the field of vaccines.” He pointed out that the convening of the conference with participation of such distinguished scholars doesn't necessarily mean that announcing the production of MERS-CoV vaccine is inevitable, as researches usually take time, and therefore nobody can determine the time of announcement because vaccines production  go through stages known only to specialists. 
 
Furthermore, Bin Saeed underlined that this scientific conference faces some challenges; including the administrative challenge of enabling the concerned bodies to get the information, as lack of researches in the field means unavailability of information, the challenge of financial support for researches and the scientific challenge of finding the suitable animal for experimentation, as well as identifying the epidemiological shape of the disease and method of its transmission and outbreak.
 
He said the Kingdom addressed the three challenges by holding such scientific conference, adding that the KACST provided all facilities for the conference and the Ministry of Health (MOH) committed itself to provide access to information for researchers and scholars.
 
Bin Saeed explained that the Kingdom represented by the MOH is working on sharing its database with researches, so as to support the scientific research towards the right direction, in such a manner that guarantees the Kingdom's rights and sovereignty, given that the kingdom will cover part of the financial support of researches.
 
The Deputy Minister said that the talks include scientific presentations about the difficulties facing the scholars and working to solve them. The second day of the conference will be devoted to assessment of researches and identification of the ones with better quality, effectiveness and the ability to produce the vaccine, and thereby submitting recommendations, he said.
 
  He went on adding that the Riyadh meeting is not the ultimate end of MERS-CoV vaccine researches, where the World health Organization (WHO) will organize a meeting in the first week of next December in Geneva, with participation of the Kingdom, to be followed by a series of meetings, with a view to putting the researches on the right scientific direction. “If efforts continued with such level of coordination and unification, there will be quick results” he said, adding, “however, no one can guarantee the outcomes or identify the time, but only we guarantee exerting efforts, and it is merely a media hype to say the contrary.”
 
Bin Saeed said, "Reaching final results and producing MERS-CoV vaccine may take a long time", citing the example of Ebola, which was discovered 40 years ago, but its vaccine has just been discovered a short time ago. Also, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was discovered in 2003, while its vaccine has not been reached so far.”  
 
 
 
 



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