Khairy: Possible to get Covid-19 herd immunity before end of year, depending on virus’ mutation

Khairy Jamaluddin, who leads the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, in Putrajaya, April 19, 2021. — Bernama pic
Khairy Jamaluddin, who leads the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, in Putrajaya, April 19, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — The possibility of herd immunity being achieved before December depends on several factors, said Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.

In a press conference, Khairy — who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation — said that it would depend on the mutation of the variance and the effectiveness of the existing vaccines then, in addition to getting those who have not registered to be immunised.

“In terms of the supply, I’m confident that we can cover as many people as possible before the end of the year, but the two caveats that I put forward whether or not we can achieve herd immunity really depends on how this virus continues to mutate and secondly, whether or not we can get people who have not been registered to come forward to receive the vaccines,” he said.

Khairy said that he foresees that come September or October, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force will have a different problem on their hands.

“As vaccination rates may start to plateau as we finish vaccinating everyone who has registered and we will have to start looking for people who have not registered in order to vaccinate,” he said.

Earlier, Khairy had announced that opt-in registration for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for those under 60 will begin tomorrow.

Recently, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed confidence that herd immunity can be achieved by the end of the year following scheduled guarantees given for the arrival of vaccines.

He added that the government is now targeting 150,000 people to be vaccinated daily as many new vaccination centers are now coming into play.

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