KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to ease restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals was made only after very careful consideration, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
He said it was in line with data collected in the country on full vaccination efficacy as well as scientific and public health principles applied globally.
“The relaxation certainly comes with a risk of an increase in daily (Covid-19) cases.
“However, the government is also not underestimating the benefits of full vaccination and also the roles the relaxation can play towards public mental and physical health and also the country’s economy,” he said in a special address regarding the relaxation of restrictions today.
Muhyiddin said fully vaccinated recipients can build stronger immunity against the Covid-19 virus, have stronger protection against severe symptoms, which in turn is capable of reducing the infectivity rate by 50 per cent.
Muhyiddin said in the past six weeks, there had been a downward trend in hospital ward and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions at the Sungai Buloh Hospital for senior citizens aged 60 and above.
He said this showed that vaccinations for senior citizens under Phase 2 of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), implemented since April 19, have shown a positive impact.
“The same also applies for Health Ministry (MOH) workers who have had their vaccine shots when PICK began on Feb 24.
“A total of 246,242 health workers have been fully vaccinated only 4,635 or 1.88 per cent were infected with Covid-19, and from these, 4,625 or 99.78 per cent only showed mild symptoms or were asymptomatic,” he said.
He said none among them were in Covid-19 Category Five, which requires respiratory support, while seven cases or 0.15 per cent were in Category Three and only three cases (0.06 per cent) had Category Four infection.
Muhyiddin said with more fully vaccinated individuals protected from more severe infection, there will be less burden on the public health system, more economic and social sectors can be opened in stages and the country can come out of the pandemic in a more orderly and safe manner.
He said to ensure more vaccinations are administered as quickly as possible, especially with the emergence of new aggressive variants, the government has mobilised the entire government machinery and is working with the private sector and non-governmental organisations in a “whole of nation” approach.
“The simple analogy is that when a person is fully vaccinated, a person prepares his body with ‘soldiers’ or antibodies to fight the ‘enemy’ or germs or diseases.
“If the ‘enemy’ attacks, and we have only started to train the ‘soldiers’ for war, it could be too late as the body by then would have been susceptible to severe infection. Vaccination ensures the body’s production of antibodies earlier to fight dangerous diseases and in this case the Covid-19 virus,” he said.
The prime minister said with joint cooperation, the government’s efforts to ramp up the vaccination rate had shown very good results, and this is proven by the people’s response towards the national vaccination programme. – Bernama