KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The COVID-19 vaccine booster has been seen as effective and capable of reducing transmission of the coronavirus in Malaysia which has been mostly triggered by the Omicron variant.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest data recorded over the past four weeks from Jan 24 to Feb 21 showed that nonvaccinated individuals at all age groups are at the highest risk of being infected by COVID-19 with severe effects, especially in categories four and five, and also at highest risk of dying from COVID-19.
He said the fully vaccinated individuals who have also received the booster shot were the most protected.
“There are fewer cases with severe effects and even deaths involving vaccinated individuals who have also received the booster shot compared to nonvaccinated and vaccinated but unboosted individuals,” he said in a statement here today.
He said from the data on COVID-19 cases for categories three, four and five per 100,000 population recorded in the four weeks, it can be concluded that vaccine booster can provide the best protection from death and severe effects of COVID-19.
As of yesterday, 14,078,456 or 59.8 per cent of the adult population in the country had received the booster dose under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme – Booster (PICK-B), which began on Oct 1 last year.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the intensive care unit (ICU) bed usage in Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka had surpassed 50 per cent of the capacity.
“The ICU bed usage in Johor is now at 70 per cent, followed by Kelantan (61 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (58 per cent) and Melaka at 54 per cent,” he said.
In the statement, Dr Noor Hisham said 25,099 new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday, bringing the cumulative figure to 3,246,779.
“Of the total new cases, 25,014 were local cases and 85 were imported cases,” he said.
Only 100 cases were in categories three, four and five, while the rest were in categories one and two.
A total of 17,749 recoveries were reported yesterday, bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 2,955,404.