Report: Dr Noor Hisham expects Malaysia to achieve herd immunity by end 2021

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A general view of the vaccination centre at  the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur May 30, 2021. —  Picture by Firdaus Latif
A general view of the vaccination centre at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur May 30, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is expecting the country to achieve herd immunity by November or December this year.

Astro Awani reported him as saying that he came to this conclusion after looking at the current national plans, while adding that it would depend on the vaccination process that will be expanded as soon as possible.

“Now the back-up is the vaccine. So allow two to three months for the vaccine (rate) to increase. We expect Malaysia to achieve herd immunity by November or December.

“If we achieve herd immunity, perhaps we can carry out other initiatives including having to prove you are vaccinated before going to the mosque, or for other religious activities,” Dr Noor Hisham said during a webinar on Islam and current affairs by Pertubuhan Intelektual Negara and Persatuan Ulama’ Malaysia last night.

He added it is still too early to allow mosque activities, even though some congregants have already been vaccinated.

Currently, less than 10 per cent of Malaysians have been vaccinated.

“The problem is that many more remain unvaccinated, and less than 10 per cent have done so.

“If we give the signal too soon, people will be angry since many are not vaccinated yet,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

The Health director-general said interstate travel or even international travel might be allowed once more Malaysians have received their second Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“This has not been implemented yet; it is only under consideration for now. Entering mosques must be done according to the standard operating procedures, while interstate travel will require a vaccine passport,” he said.

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