The Ministry of Health (KKM) will not longer use the conventional formula of achieving herd immunity with at least 80% vaccination of the country’s adult population. This is because the Covid-19 delta variant has made it difficult to achieve herd immunity.
According to Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin, global health experts have stopped using this formula and are focusing on getting as many people vaccinated as possible instead due to the Delta variant, reported Astro Awani.
“I, as Health Minister, am no longer using the herd immunity term. When we started the vaccination programme, we used the conventional formula to measure the herd immunity which was 80% (of the adult population),” he said during the parliament sitting on 23 September.
“That was before the spread of the Delta variant. This variant had basically thrown out the herd immunity calculation and it’s difficult to say when we will achieve herd immunity. That is why we should no longer be looking at herd immunity.”
“Instead, we should be looking at the widest vaccination possible.”
Khairy said this in response to a question by Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who asked why infections and fatalities from Covid-19 in the country have been on the rise despite 80% of the adult population being fully vaccinated.
He said that even though the number of Covid-19 cases is still high, important indicators have shown that infections have started showing a downward trend, giving hope to the country’s recovery process.
“Compared to the situation a month ago, which was on 23 August, the bed usage involved 14,942 cases but today, the number has dropped to 10,321,” he said.
“The need for the intensive care units (ICU) involved 1,542 cases but today, the number has declined to 1,114. On average, there were 251 cases over a seven-day period in August but the figure has dropped to 106.”
“Of the current active cases recorded, 83% are under Categories 1 and 2 who only require quarantine at home; 10.7% were sent to the Low-Risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC); 5.1% are admitted to the hospitals and 0.5% require ventilators and intensive treatment.”
Khairy added that KKM will continue strengthening public health strategies in flattening the curve and breaking the transmission through the Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) plan to avoid an uncontrollable spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia.
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