#kerajaangagal56 – will all Malaysians who were vaccinated this year require a booster shot next year?

There is widespread scepticism and doubt that the Co-ordinating Minister for National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme would be able to fulfil his promise to complete the national vaccination rollout by this year, as after nearly three months of the national vaccination campaign, only 2.4 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated while 3.9 per cent of the population had been given one dose of the vaccine.

We have seven months to go before the end of the year. Even if we speed up national vaccination rollout, is it possible to achieve the 60-70 per cent vaccination of the Malaysian population necessary to achieve the herd immunity for the Covid-19 virus?

If in three months we can only get 2.4 per cent of the population to be fully vaccinated and 3.9 per cent of population to be given one dose of the vaccine, what can seven months do?

Up to another 10% to be fully vaccinated and another 15% to be given one dose of the vaccine – to reach a grand total of 12.4% fully vaccinated and 18.9 per cent of the population given one dose of the vaccine?

This is very far from the 60-70% of the population who must be vaccinated for the country to reach herd immunity for the Covid-19 virus.

We will need at least a full year in 2022 to reach herd immunity in Malaysia by vaccinating 60-70 per cent of the population – but the Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Ahmad Amzad Hashim is not talking about vaccinating 60-70 per cent of the population but 80 per cent of the population or 26.5 million people to reach herd immunity, which will take Malaysia into 2023.

But this is not the only problem. There are two others.

Presently, medical experts think that vaccine immunity may last 6-8 months. If vaccine immunity can only last 6-8 months, and our vaccine rollout is so slow and tardy, by the time the last vaccine group get their first dose in 2022 or 2023, the first vaccine group from Feb – June 2021 would have passed their vaccine immune period.

Secondly, we are in a race against time in the battle of “vaccine vs virus”, as the more the virus spreads, the more chances it has to mutate and create new variants that could eventually resist current vaccines, threatening to undermine the progress in containing the pandemic.

CNN has reported that those who had been vaccinated may need another round within a year, according Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of United States.

A batch of new studies have found that topping up virus immunity with the vaccine boost will be even more important with the emergence of new variants that might have acquired genetic changes that make them more resistant to the immunity generated by vaccines or following natural infection.

The Prime Minister, the National Security Council or the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) should let Malaysians know the government position on this important question.

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, May 21, 2021)

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