Vaccination programme needs to be successful

Dr Yii (left) explaining about the Covid-19 vaccine, joined by Chong (centre).

KUCHING: The vaccination programme needs to be successful or else it will be difficult to revive the economy, says Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He added that there was a need to vaccinate about 70 to 80 per cent of the population to achieve herd immunity and protection.

“Over 20 per cent of our population are children, including those that are advised to not vaccinate yet due to immunocompromised, active cancer, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers etc. 

“So, if those that have no contraindications and do not want to take the vaccine, it will be very hard for us to achieve the required herd immunity,” he said in a live ‘Let’s Talk About Covid-19’ on his Facebook page on Sunday (Feb 28).

“Remember, if not all of us are protected, none of us are protected,” he stressed.

“Those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, common allergies, asthma, are not contraindicated, they can take the vaccine, and to always consult their doctors first just to be sure.”

On the vaccine’s safety and its efficacy, Dr Yii said the vaccine was safe.

“In the short term, currently, there are 231 million people around the world who have already taken the vaccine. In the United States, there are 18 million recipients, and based on the report, there are no deaths (due to the vaccine), and 66 are anaphylaxis reactions or 0.0004 per cent which was managed medically thus no long-term harm.

“While the vaccine clinical trial data shows 50 to 95 per cent efficacy, and the real-world data shows 30 to 90 per cent reduction in news cases, severe disease and hospital admission in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Israel.”

He explained that regarding the long-term safety of the vaccine, long-term data was not possible because the pandemic was only one year old, and scientists were still continuously collecting data.

“It is very hard to wait for three, five, or 10 years for the data only to decide whether we should or should not use the vaccine.

“There will never be a perfect data and we cannot wait another five to 10 years to solve an urgent problem right now.

“And scientists do not say there is perfect data, but scientists do say on the benefits over risks. The benefits of vaccines strongly outweigh the risk.”

Dr Yii urged the public to register for the vaccine on MySejahtera, and from March 4, registration for dependents such as the elderly or people with disabilities could be done.

The live session was joined by Sarawak Democratic Action Party chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

Those who wish to read more about the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme can get information at vaksincovid.gov.my