Letter to Editor
COORDINATING Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim that 96.7% of adults in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor have received their first vaccine dose can’t be right, and thus his claim that close to 100% have been vaccinated must be reexamined.
A check on the Government’s website (https://www.vaksincovid.gov.my/) shows that 5.89 million adults have been given at least one dose, as of Aug 2. If compared to the 6.1 million adult population in KL and Selangor, then yes, we would have reached 96.7% with the figure provided by Khairy based on Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
However, we surely have far more than 6.1 million people in KL and Selangor, as based on the same website, we have 7.1 million people registered for the vaccine. That leaves out 1 million of people.
This still does not include many who have yet to register, for various reasons such as a digital gap or taking an anti-vaccine stance or simply because they are afraid to register because they are foreigners without valid permits.
The least that Khairy can do is to use statistics of percentage of adults vaccinated based on the individuals registered, and not using an outdated estimate of adults.
This is not just about numbers. It is crucial that we do not rest on our laurels and continue to get the vaccine out to those registered and unregistered so we can build this immunity wall and minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our already strained healthcare services.
Khairy himself sets a target of 80% of the population (not 80% of adults) to be vaccinated in order to build this immunity wall (instead of using the term herd immunity).
And since a sizeable group of the population cannot be vaccinated as they are children, we cannot underestimate the importance of getting most, if not all adults vaccinated.
To this end, we need to count better as well as keep working at rolling out the first dose, not just to Malaysians and those who have registered, but to all adults in this country. – Aug 4, 2021
Rajiv Rishyakaran is Bukit Gasing’s state assemblyman.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.