Herd immunity is the target

Dr Annuar Rapaee during the live stream.

KUCHING: While different people prefer different Covid-19 vaccines, what matters most is to obtain herd immunity in the community.

In stressing this, Education, Science and Technological Research assistant minister Dr Annuar Rapaee said the reported efficacy of the vaccines was obtained in its research environment.

“What happens is that the 95 percent efficacy in the Pfizer vaccine or the 65 percent in Sinovac is tested in the research environment.

“But what is more important is its effect in the real world. This means after the vaccines are administered, there will also be a research on how many people obtain immunity.

“Crucially, when the herd immunity is achieved, it will be able to cut off the transmissions,” he said in a livestream on Saturday (May 15).

He was responding to a viewer’s question on whether a herd immunity could be obtained through the use of the Sinovac vaccine which had an efficacy of 65 percent.

Dr Annuar said while the state government was targeting to complete its vaccine rollout on August, the current delay was caused by the shortage of vaccines.

“The state government has committed to buying 500,000 vaccine doses as we cannot wait for the federal government.

“We will be giving the first dose of the vaccine first because as we see in other countries, the first dose is crucial.

“In the United Kingdom (UK) particularly, they have administered the first vaccine dose and delayed the second dose of the vaccine to maximise the first dose,” he said.

To another question, Dr Annuar said although those vaccinated could be infected with Covid-19, the infection risk was lower.

“This means if they are vaccinated, they will get less severe infection. In other countries, we have seen the death toll drop by 80 percent.

“Also, when we obtain herd immunity, it means that the restrictions can be relaxed as after vaccinated, even if you are infected, the transmission is limited and the viral load of the virus is reduced,” he said.