KUCHING: Several China nationals who arrived here recently tested positive for Covid-19 despite having completed vaccination in their home country, says Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (pic).
The state Local Government and Housing Minister, who oversees public health, said completing two doses of the vaccine did not guarantee immunity from the virus.
"We had seen imported cases from China who had completed two doses of the vaccine in China last year but found to be Covid-19 positive when entering Kuching due to our compulsory quarantine and RT-PCR swab test (for arrivals from outside the state).
"After two doses, we may have 'vaccine passport' but may not have a 'Covid-19 immunity passport'," he said in a Facebook post Wednesday (April 7).
Dr Sim also said a very small number out of the 54,000 people in Sarawak vaccinated so far were found to be Covid-19 positive one to three weeks after vaccination, for various reasons.
He said there was widespread misconception that people would be safe after two doses of the vaccine, as it would take two to three weeks for Covid-19 antibodies to be produced after vaccination, while different vaccines had various levels of efficacy.
"Even (the) Pfizer (vaccine is) 95% effective to prevent severe infections after two doses. What would happen if you belong to the 5%?
"How long will the Covid-19 antibodies last in your body after vaccination? How effective are the current vaccines against variants?"
Nevertheless, Dr Sim said vaccination was necessary to stop community transmission, provide herd immunity to protect one another and prevent virus mutation.
"If we can vaccinate fast enough, the virus will not be able to mutate and variants will not emerge.
"Then we have to protect our borders to prevent variants like the South African one from being imported into Sarawak," he said.