Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant Political Education Director for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 19th of April, 2021

Director General (DG) of Health, Tan Sri Noor Hisham to clarify and explain better his statement on the frontliners who were infected with COVID19 after getting their 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID19 vaccine.

I refer to the Facebook Posting by DG of Health below. While I believe that the DG is well meaning in wanting to remind all of us that we should continue to observe the SOPs even AFTER taking our vaccine shots, I believe that his statement could have been better explained. For example, he could have said that ONLY 142 healthcare workers were infected out of approximately 500,000 healthcare workers (at the time of reporting) who had received their first dose or a mere 0.03%. And he could have added that ONLY 40 healthcare workers out of 300,000 (at the time of reporting) were infected after receiving their 2nd dose (or a mere 0.01%).

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The way the DG made his statement and the way it was reported in the press made it seem as if the vaccine was not very effective in preventing someone from getting the COVDI19 virus whereas the opposite is true i.e. that the Pfier Biontech vaccine was more than 99% effective (estimation) in preventing those who have been inoculated from getting COVID19. And even among the very small number who got the virus, the symptoms were less severe.

One of the consequences of the DG”s statement is that it will DISCOURAGE more people from registering to receive the vaccine.

Here are a few replies to the DG’s post on Facebook which are very concerning:

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In addition, the DG’s statement may also have the unintended effect of discouraging some senior citizens who have confirmed their appointments to receive the vaccine to suddenly change their minds, especially those who already have concerns about the effects after taking the 1st and/or 2nd dose.

Finally, the DG’s statement also would make some people BLAME the healthcare workers for not following the SOPs whereas, in actual fact, they may have gotten the virus from their medical front line duties.

May be an image of text that says 'Ainey Ain Aberim This for sure tak ikut SOP !! jst bcox they think already vaccinated, they are freeeeee to go anywhere. kalau tak ke mjlis kenduri, msti ke big gathering kat mana mna ni. Like Reply 1d'

I call upon DG Tan Sri Noor Hisham to explain his statement clearly and fully so that we can restore confidence in the vaccine registration and vaccine taking process. We need the national vaccination program (PICK) to be successfully rolled out for the health and economic well being of the country.