Once South African B.1.351 variant spreads, some vaccines may not be effective – Khairy

SEREMBAN (April 15): Coordinating Minister for National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin today expressed his concern over the detection of 17 COVID-19 cases with the South African B.1.351 variant in the country which would impact the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.

He said that once the variant spread, some of the vaccines will not be effective against it and the rate of virus transmission would go up.

Therefore, he said the National Security Council (MKN) needs to review some of the flexibility given so that the immunisation programme would not be affected.

“My greatest worry is the variant of the virus. Yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that there are already 17 cases of the South African variant in Malaysia and we know that this particular variant is not only more transmissible but the vaccines are less effective against it.

“If we are non-observant of the standard operation procedures (SOP), the fourth wave will be worst than the third wave,” he told a press conference after visiting the Negeri Sembilan Vaccination Centre (PPV) at the Seremban City Council Hall here today.

Prior to this, Dr Noor Hisham reported that the South African B.1.351 variant was found in three cases of the Jalan Lima Cluster in Hulu Langat and Sepang districts, Selangor; Kebun Baru Cluster, Kuala Langat (nine cases); Teknologi Emas Cluster, Kuala Langat (one case) and close contact screening (one case).

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