KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — The COVID-19 vaccination programme planned by the government is important in order to create herd immunity, allowing the country’s economy to recover, says Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) official.
MOSTI deputy secretary-general (technology development, commercialisation and STI services) Dr Mohd Nor Azman Hassan said when herd immunity is achieved, the transmission of COVID-19 could be better controlled.
“When we have a large group of people who have achieved immunity to a virus, we can move around and meet one another almost like normal. So the opportunity for us to open the economy is bigger because every citizen or individual has been vaccinated,” he said when appearing on the ‘Bual Bicara’ programme aired on Bernama TV tonight.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his special address on the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI) previously said almost 27 million or more than 80 per cent of Malaysians are expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the first quarter of 2022.
He said the first supply of vaccines was expected to arrive by the end of February with the first batch of individuals set to be vaccinated in early March.
Meanwhile, Academy of Sciences Malaysia fellow Datuk Dr Madeline Berma said she was optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccination programme would accelerate efforts to revitalise the country’s economy which has been badly affected by the epidemic.
“During the early phases of the pandemic, we only relied on prevention by means of physical distancing and locking down. But with the vaccine, it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel, as it can solve the COVID-19 transmission issue,” she said.