HERD immunity occurs when most of a population become immune to an infectious disease after, for example, vaccination.
Herd immunity protects the whole population, including those who have not been vaccinated, against the disease.
Our government is currently rolling out an inoculation programme aimed at vaccinating 80% of the population to create herd immunity in the country as soon as possible.
Mega vaccination centres have been opened to facilitate the process since the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme was launched earlier this year.
Creating herd immunity in the country is a noble and ambitious undertaking, but there are questions as to how and when this can be achieved even with the opening up of mega vaccination centres.
This is when vaccinating people at the community level becomes more practical. Vaccinating communities would be more successful for a number of reasons:
> The community would view such initiatives as rakyat-friendly;
> Members of the community would want to get vaccinated when they see others in their family or their neighbours getting immunised;
> Depending on the size of the community, vaccinations can be done within one to three days; and
> Resident associations, community centres, state and federal representatives can (and must) be roped in to assist.
Many communities make a district, many districts a state and finally the country. Rolling out vaccinations along such a route would also be more manageable.
Anti-vaxxers in the community can be better handled using family and local leaders to intervene.
In short, efforts at community level can contribute to the goal of achieving herd immunity as “many hands make light work”.
In every general election, the country is able to gather more than 10 million voters to come out and vote in just one day. This is possible because we use local centres like schools and community centres.
Why can’t our vaccination rollout be executed in the same way, albeit with some modifications?
TOH CHEE TIONG