Immunity after two vaccine doses a misconception

KUCHING: The view held by the general public that an individual will be fully immune to Covid-19 after two doses of vaccines is not accurate.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said this was a misconception on the public’s part.

“I was asked by a lot of people on why one could still be infected after two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. This is a misconception that two vaccine doses would equal to immunity or having the antibodies.

“This was the reason that even after two vaccine doses, when you enter Sarawak, you are still subjected to 14 days’ quarantine,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (June 11).

He was responding to public queries of the possibility of a fully vaccinated individual being  infected by Covid-19 after Senior Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof was recently reported to have contracted the virus.

Dr Sim explained that the vaccination was to protect the community by having herd immunity and stopping Covid-19 transmission within the community.

“The most important objective of vaccination  is to prevent the virus mutating into new variants,” he said.

He said mutated variants would cause some of the Covid-19 vaccines to become less effective, hence the need to expedite the vaccine rollout.

“This is also to protect individuals by decreasing the chances of being infected and if they do get infected, the infection will be less severe and the chance of death will be reduced,” he said.

Dr Sim said even the best vaccines had 95 percent efficacy at the moment; for every 100 people vaccinated, only about 95 percent would have the antibodies. 

“But those who are vaccine hesitant, if you don’t vaccinate, you will have no protection,” he said.

At the same time, the Local Government and Housing Minister also extended well wishes to Fadillah.

“We pray that our fellow Sarawakian Datuk Seri Fadillah will have a speedy recovery,” he said.