Don’t focus too much on herd immunity, says Dr Adeeba
2021-06-19 11:42:00

PETALING JAYA: Infectious diseases expert Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman says the public should not place too much emphasis on achieving herd immunity against Covid-19 through vaccinations.

Instead, vaccines should be seen for their benefits in reducing the transmission of the deadly disease, said Adeeba, who was newly inducted to the science council of the World Health Organization.

Her comments come just days after vaccination coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that herd immunity may no longer be a useful term to describe the country’s vaccination target as Covid-19 may remain in a more subdued form for some time to come. The government previously said that herd immunity will be achieved by fully vaccinating 80% of the population.

Adeeba said she had always regarded vaccines as a means to reduce cases of severe hospitalisation and death. “That’s how the (Covid-19 vaccine) trial was designed, and it’s doing what it has promised to do,” she said.

However, the use of Covid-19 vaccines had resulted in reducing the transmission of the virus. “That should really be the goal now, and we shouldn’t get too caught up with achieving herd immunity unless we are able to vaccinate every single person,” she said at an online forum organised by the Medico Legal Society of Malaysia today.

Adeeba said Malaysians should be “humble enough” to adjust to living with Covid-19. “We’re not like Australia or New Zealand, which are islands,” she said. “For us in Malaysia, getting to zero cases is nigh on impossible because of the porous borders we have.”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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