News that Malaysia hopes to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 by the end of the year have led to increasing positivity that mass tourism could return in 2022.
Sabah, Malaysia credit Andy Wang on Unsplash
Health Minister Adham Baba has been reported as saying that the country had ordered enough vaccines to cover 109% of its population, who qualify for inoculation, and that they should all be available by December.
“We have ordered enough vaccines for 109 per cent of the population who are eligible for vaccination as a standby. This was done after calculating the number of people above 18 years old and those suitable to receive the vaccination. If we can get the vaccines delivered before December, we can achieve herd immunity.”Adham Baba, Malaysia Health Minister
The aim is to ensure that at least 80% of the total population is fully vaccinated which is seen by many as an important factor in achieving herd immunity.
Herd immunity is the term used to describe when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.
Although the exact percentage of the population required for herd immunity is not agreed, majority thinking suggests around three quarters of the adult population is required.
Achieving herd community in a population is commonly seen as key in the reopening of borders to international travellers. There is increasing debate whether travellers themselves need to be inoculated, many governments are prioritising these travellers at the moment however.
Malaysia, like many Southeast Asia countries, is currently struggling to stem the number of cases and deaths from Covid-19. Earlier this week the country entered into a full lockdown, which had been discounted just days earlier. The country has reported almost 600,000 cases and 3,096 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
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