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COVID-19 cases among vaccinated healthcare workers in Malaysia 10 times lower: Malaysian minister

COVID-19 cases among vaccinated healthcare workers in Malaysia 10 times lower: Malaysian minister

A medical worker speaks to a man under observation after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, at Sunway Medical Centre in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, Mar 12, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA TERENGGANU: The number of vaccinated healthcare workers in Malaysia testing positive for COVID-19 is 10 times lower than the number of cases among healthcare workers before the inoculation regime, said Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Ahmad Amzad Hashim.

When COVID-19 first hit Malaysia in March last year, Malaysia had an average of 436 infections among health workers each month.

In all, nearly 4,800 health workers were infected with COVID-19 between March 2020 and February 2021, he said, citing a statement made by Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in February.

Ahmad Amzad's comments come after news on Saturday that 40 health workers in Malaysia had tested positive for COVID-19 after completing both COVID-19 jabs. 

Nine of them were infected more than two weeks after receiving their second dose, while 31 were infected less than two weeks after their second jab, said Dr Noor Hisham on Saturday.

READ: 40 healthcare workers in Malaysia who had both doses of vaccine test positive for COVID-19

"The total of 40 health workers infected with COVID-19, compared to 438,000 individuals who have completed two doses of the vaccine, is a very small percentage," Ahmad Amzad said in a statement on Monday.

"This is because 99.9 per cent of the individuals who have completed the two doses of the vaccine are not infected, even though they are frontline workers who deal with COVID-19 patients on a daily basis."

He added that the 40 who tested positive for the disease did not experience severe symptoms.

Ahmad Amzad said the development was in line with the implementation of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, which aims to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and severity of symptoms.

READ: What you should know about getting infected after COVID-19 vaccination

On Sunday, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said in a Facebook post that being fully vaccinated does not mean one cannot be infected.

"But if we are fully vaccinated and infected with COVID-19, we will not be experiencing severe symptoms," he said.

"(The) COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It can protect you from severe illness and symptoms."

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