Gamuda Laboratory plans ahead post-vaccination

Adam Anand Row 

With the National Vaccination Progamme finally ramping up, many Gamuda employees have been stepping up to get vaccinated. Whether directly through MySejahtera appointments or company-organised vaccination drives like the on-going MyMedic@Wilayah Mobile Truck Programme, hundreds of employees are now being inoculated against Covid-19. Since regular PCR testing is still on-going, we caught up with Dr Gayathrie Sadacharamani, MGJV Medical Services Manager to get the latest scoop on the implemented testing methodology to address this change in the testing samples. 

“We are always looking to find and adopt the latest developments in Covid-19 testing and analysis to ensure that we can get ahead of any potential issues or infection vectors, which is why we constantly review and update our protocols after every testing cycle. With many of our employees now having received at least their first dose of either Astra Zeneca or Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines, we have now added the administration of the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) Antibody test. It is administered as a blood test and can determine the level of antibodies developed in a person post-vaccination. ELISA tests are highly sensitive and specific (accurate), comparing favourably with other methods used for the detection of substances in the body,” she explained. 

“The test results then help us decide whether the employee needs to return to a bi-weekly PCR testing regime, enabling accurate monitoring of an employee’s health concerning Covid-19. The ELISA test also allows us to monitor antibody levels in those who have recovered from Covid-19. This will guide us to determine if further testing or actions are needed to ensure their continued health and detect re-infections. The gathered data effectively determines when we have reached herd immunity within the Group, and enables us to continue to isolate infection vectors from external sources in the community,” she added. 

Dr Gaya assured that private and confidential information will be handled with care. “We will not share employee data as we are looking only to maintain the overall well-being and health of our staff, and analyse the data trends across the sample group.”  

“The outlook for the company’s ability to continue functioning despite the pandemic is decidedly positive for now, especially with the on-going vaccination of our workforce. Combined with regular PCR testing cycles, as well as Covid-19 response and mitigation strategies in place, the company is primed to continue to be at the forefront in adjusting to the new norms brought about by the pandemic,” she affirmed.