The Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Malaysia, and Malaysia’s prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Haji Mohd Yassin and Health Director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah have taken their first dose of the vaccine on 24 February 2021.
On 27 February 2021, the Ministry of Health shared an information piece regarding the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. According to Reuters, research carried out in the United Kingdom found that a single dose of the vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
“Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic healthcare workers after a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” Nick Jones, an infectious diseases specialist at Cambridge University Hospital who co-led the study said.
Jones’ team also found that 0.80% tests from unvaccinated healthcare workers were positive after separating the test results from unvaccinated and vaccinated staff.
This compared with 0.37% of tests from staff less than 12 days post-vaccination – when the vaccine’s protective effect is not yet fully established – and 0.20% of tests from the staff at 12 days or more post-vaccination.
Although the study and its results have yet to be independently peer-reviewed by other scientists, it was published online as a preprint on 26 February 2021.
According to Mike Weekes, an infectious disease specialist at Cambridge University’s department of medicine who co-led the study, this suggests a decrease in the risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection by four times amongst healthcare workers who have been vaccinated for more than 12 days, and 75% protection.
The level of asymptomatic infection was also halved in those vaccinated for less than 12 days, he added.
“This is great news – the Pfizer vaccine not only provides protection against becoming ill from SARS-CoV-2, but also helps prevent infection, reducing the potential for the virus to be passed on to others,” Weeks said. “But we have to remember that the vaccine doesn’t give complete protection for everyone.”.
Besides the Pfizer vaccine, the Sinovac vaccine has also safely arrived in Malaysia around 9am yesterday (27 February 2021).