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12/11/2021
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Booster dose for that additional protection

Sin Chew Daily

Have you completed two doses of the vaccine? Are you prepared to go for a third booster dose to fortify your immunity?

Sure enough SOP compliance remains a very crucial factor in containing the virus, but a third booster dose will drastically reduce the risk of infection.

That said, recent observations show that many people still have reservation about the booster dose. In addition, they are also beginning to get less serious about SOP compliance now. That is really worrying!

The government started administering Pfizer booster doses last month for senior citizens and frontliners who have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac for at least six months.

On Wednesday, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that Malaysians aged 40 and above will also get their booster doses soon.

It has been shown that the efficiency of vaccines will begin to decline after six months and as such booster doses are absolutely necessary to reactivate the body’s immune system to counter the virus.

People suffering from poor immunity including cancer patients, organ donation recipients and kidney disease patients who require regular dialysis are all high-risk individuals who will require a third booster dose because two doses will not be able to offer them sufficient protection.

While the government has realized the importance of booster dose and has initiated booster dose administration for Malaysians, it has been reported that some 40% of people given appointments for booster doses have not shown up for the injections.

Khairy says Malaysians generally believe that they will be safe after receiving two doses of vaccine, which is actually not right.

This may have something to do with the lower infection and mortality rates now as well as the new normal way of living with the virus.

As a matter of fact, the pandemic is not yet fully controlled but many people have begun to let their guard down. Some even argue that the situation has improved drastically and as such booster doses have become optional now.

Many senior citizens still have reservation about mix-and-match vaccination and are worried about the side effects.

A UCSI study shows that 71.4% of the 1,075 respondents are willing to take the booster doses while 18.4% are unsure and 10.2% reject a third jab.

Daily new infection numbers have fallen below the 10,000 mark since October 3 and have remained below that threshold for over 40 days now. However, the situation is still fluctuating, meaning we cannot afford to be too complacent.

Experts warn that mutant variants remain a major menace and the high transmission rate of the Delta variant is something we simply cannot afford to take lightly.

Although the vaccines have provided a certain degree of protection, they won’t stop the vaccinated individuals from being infected by the virus. We still need a third booster dose to to put the virus under better control.

Health ministry statistics show that 261 infections involving mutant variants were detected between October 20 and 28, of which 259 involved the Delta variant and two others involved the Beta variant.

The virus will continue to evolve and become more serious but thanks to our high vaccination rate, the incidence of serious illnesses and mortality are still within manageable levels.

The administration of booster doses and the adoption of stricter public health measures are absolutely necessary, as clinical statistics show that booster doses with some COVID-19 vaccines will indeed prevent further mutation of the Delta variant.

For the sake of Malaysians’ health and to put the coronavirus pandemic under effective containment, it is absolutely necessary to get more people to be inoculated in a bid to minimize the risk of people-to-people transmission.

Booster dose could be seen as a medium to provide that additional protection so that Malaysians can revert to their normal day-to-day lives.

In view of this, the government should furnish more comprehensive data to enhance the public’s willingness to take the booster dose.

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