Don't view Covid-19 vaccination as an 'immunity passport', says Health DG


PUTRAJAYA: The Covid-19 vaccination should not be viewed as an “immunity passport”, the Health Ministry reminds the Malaysian public.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the people should not see Covid-19 vaccination as a licence to travel freely and avoid restrictions.

“The Covid-19 vaccination is something that is still very new.

“We are still discussing and observing its developments closely.

“At the moment, it is not an immunity passport.

“It does not mean that after you are injected or vaccinated, you can travel anywhere. No!” said Dr Noor Hisham at the ministry’s press conference here Monday (Jan 4).

Dr Noor Hisham believes it will take almost half a year of having Covid-19 vaccinations for public disposal before the government can make an educated judgment on its efficiency.

“We still need to look into the efficacy of the vaccine. Time will tell.

“It will probably be another four or six months, and a better decision can be made by then, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said a committee has also been set up to figure out who in the country will receive the Covid-19 vaccination first.

“Frontliners and healthcare workers will certainly be our priority. After that, it will be those who have comorbidities.

“We have our strategies but we have not yet announced it. Perhaps in a week or two, we will do so, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

On how soon the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines can be rolled out in Malaysia, Dr Noor Hisham said it all depends on the company providing it.

“It all depends on how fast the company can respond to the questions and issues raised by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“We expect the vaccine to be approved probably by the end of February, and we can start vaccinating in March or so, ” he said.

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