Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Prerequisites needed to ease SOPs for the fully vaccinated, says health ministry

This includes the need for a high vaccination rate among the population and a certain level of SOP compliance.

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The health ministry has recommended several prerequisites for the easing of SOPs for individuals who have completed both doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

Health deputy director-general (research and technical support) Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim said this includes the need for a high vaccination rate among the population so that there will be no new surge in Covid-19 cases.

“A certain level of SOP compliance needs to be implemented as well, as the existing variants are more transmissible and more infectious. So we need to prioritise the use of face masks and physical distancing, and avoid mass gatherings.

“When these prerequisites can be implemented, then an announcement can be made on the benefits for those who have completed their vaccination,” he told a special press conference today.

Also present were the ministry’s secretary-general Shafiq Abdullah, public health deputy-director and Great Klang Valley Special Task Force commander Dr Chong Chee Kheong, and Selangor Health Department director Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman.

Hishamshah said the matter was still being discussed at the highest level.

He said the implementation of the flexibility in SOPs for those who have completed their vaccination should not be done in haste as the matter has to be handled cautiously by the government and health ministry.

Hishamshah said Malaysia needs to learn from the experience of countries that have given privileges to fully vaccinated individuals.

“They give the privileges to individuals who have completed their vaccination, but when they look back at the decision, they feel the privileges were given too early. As a result, they see an increase in Covid-19 cases,” he added.

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