Vaccine safe to take

Dr Kelvin Yii
Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The Covid-19 vaccine gives a high percentage of protection to the people and reduces the risk of being infected by the virus by 90 percent, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He said if someone is infected after vaccination, the vaccine would reduce the risk of severe disease by 90 percent.

“Based on the data from Israel, the vaccine has reduced infectivity (spreading) by up to 90 percent.

“And based on data from other countries, it has significantly reduced hospitalisation from up to 60 to 90 percent,” he said in a live session ‘Let’s Talk about Covid-19’ on his Facebook page on Sunday.

He said therefore, the vaccine is safe and people should take it for their protection against Covid-19.

“Currently, the pandemic has caused 2.5 million deaths and about 112 million infections all around the world. According to the Institute for Clinical Research, 87 percent of reported Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia had at least one underlying health condition.

“Nearly two-thirds of Covid-19 victims were aged 60 years old and above. The mortality rate for people aged 70 years old and above is about nine to 10 percent, which is substantial. About 61 percent of Covid-19 fatalities in Malaysia had high blood pressure, followed by diabetes (41 percent), heart disease (24 percent) and high cholesterol (19 percent).

“According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, there is a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the adult population, 18 percent for diabetes, 30 percent for hypertension and 38 percent for high cholesterol,” he said.

Dr Yii said this means that many of the population were at high risk for Covid-19 to develop severe symptoms and possible death.

“That is why I strongly encourage the people to get vaccinated with vaccines approved by NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency),” he said.

He explained that the agency consisted of a panel of experts from different disciplines of infectious disease, epidemiology as well as internal medicine and they had a very stringent test including heavy questioning of over 300 questions towards the manufacturers of those vaccines.

He pointed out that a safe vaccine does not mean it is completely free from side effects or adverse events.

“However, vaccination produces overwhelmingly greater benefits to individuals and society than the risks due to adverse reactions. It is far more harmful to one’s health to contract Covid-19 than to take an approved vaccine for the disease,” he said.

Dr Yii explained that the most common reactions are injection site reactions, experiencing fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain or fever.

“These are considered minor events that are associated with either the injection or the general immune response that is typical to almost all vaccines. The fact that there is a reaction is a good thing as it shows your body is responding to the vaccine by producing an immune response.

“All these reactions are only temporary and with proper medical attention, they are not deadly,” he pointed out.

Asked why the vaccine could be produced in a year, Dr Yii said this is because there was a huge demand for the vaccine globally.

“There is so much money being invested in it, strong political will from the countries, many scientists are involved, many data sharing among countries and also many people willing to volunteer for the phase three trials.

“The mRNA technology (vaccine) may be new, but not as new as it has been there since 2000. So, scientists are not starting from scratch but from known knowledge, data and scientific results,” he said.