Two million is a huge number, and we’re only 7 days away from this deadline, before the curtain is pulled, and the digital passes removed from those who remained reluctant to obtain their third booster shots.
The Malay Mail ran a report today, highlighting Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin’s statement from a press conference, saying that approximately two million Covid-19 vaccine recipients are set to lose their fully vaccinated status if they do not get a booster shot before April 1st.
Two million is a huge number, and we’re only 7 days away from this deadline, before the curtain is pulled, and the digital passes removed from those who remained reluctant to obtain their third booster shots. The question is why are two million people refusing to get this over with, despite having already completed the required, initial 2 doses, to the extent of what appears to be their willingness to give up their social rights and access to various public facilities allowed on individuals with fully vaccinated status?
Having 2 million people imaginably losing this status is probably going to be catastrophic because there will be a significant number of people who will eventually lose their right to hold on to their day jobs for reason being Malaysia still enforces rule restrictions that only those that are classified as fully vaccinated can be allowed to perform their duties in various public and private sector enterprises.
This is not an anti-vax post and readers are reminded that this blog advocates neutrality of choice, it is well within any person’s preference and right to choose, whether he should or should not be inoculated. Just as people should be allowed to be vaccinated, likewise people also should be permitted if they choose not to. What should not be promoted is unfair coercion and medical compulsion of any kind, which fundamentally takes away a person’s freedom of choice especially if it is based on unverified grounds of public health hazards or similar unproven medical assumptions.
National Data Needs To Be Transparent
There are several issues in the way COVID-19 data information has been conveyed to the Malaysian public, that needs to be improvised in the interest of clarity and transparency.
One of the most basic and fundamental data that the public needs to be aware of on a daily basis is this; out of the total number of newly detected, it must be clearly identified without disguise, how many are unvaccinated individuals and how many are vaccinated. This information is already been collected daily by the government and published in the Ministry of Health’s GitHub repository, but they are not clearly conveyed for public consumption through media channels. Anyone who wish to find these numbers, they have to dig in to the repository database in order to obtain them.
Secondly, the Ministry of Health have since several months ago, began reporting the number of daily deaths by categories, in the count of “per 100,000”, as in the chart above.
Offhand, if anyone were to glance at this chart, the untrained eye would simply conclude that deaths among unvaccinated individuals down with COVID-19 seems to be a lot higher as oppose to those that have been vaccinated. But if we were to examine the numbers closer, the chart above is indicating that there is only approximately slightly over 3 deaths per 100,000 among the unvaccinated and less than 1 death per 100,000 for those that are vaccinated in its various categories.
In a country known to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, Malaysia has a record percentage of up to 97% fully vaccinated adults or even more. And if we were to calculate the deaths based on per 100,000, 3 per 100,000 of unvaccinated dead people is a lot lower, than less than 1 per 100,000 of 97% of total inoculated dead adults. It would have been more transparent, if the displayed information to the public is just kept simple; from the daily death numbers, how many are actually vaccinated and how many are not, and not to display them by per 100,000 counts.
And what about the deaths from vaccination adverse effects? What about those recent cases of people falling to the ground while walking, succumbing to heart attacks while driving, or those who died of sudden deaths in their homes? And if these people are tested and found to be not COVID-19 positive, what are the implications if we were to not tally or count them? Whether these non-COVID positive death cases are related to vaccine injuries or not, is another matter altogether.
But what the government should be doing is to tabulate and release the numbers to the public transparently, and not resort to any inaction that may put them to being perceived as attempting to cover up any information. These non-COVID related deaths are equally important numbers that people need to be aware of, in reaching their decisions of choosing whether or not to be inoculated.
Responsibility To Its Citizens
The two million people, potentially refusing to undertake the third shot, should be sufficient wake-up call to the Malaysian government, that it needs to do more to keep the nation in full confidence that our authorities are constantly doing what is right and just. To assure these two million souls two months ago that two shots is enough to qualify one for fully vaccinated status, and only to impose new rules of a third shot later and if they do not comply, their status shall be reverted to unvaccinated status; this is not a very pleasant thing or policy that citizens in general would welcome.
So what is going to happen to these group of people? That if they remain adamant not to take up the third shot, therefore their status be permanently moved back to be the same as those who chose not to be inoculated at all? These policies are anything but equitable or even honest to say the least. It will certainly undermine and erode the trust the public have all these while, on the Minister and the Director General of Health, whom are both highly regarded individuals, having above average leadership qualities.