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MMA urges public not to take Omicron lightly, to get vaccinated against Covid-19

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The Malaysian Medical Association emblem is seen at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2019. — Malay Mail photo

KUCHING (March 27): The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has told the community across the nation not to take the Covid-19 Omicron variant lightly but go for immunisation to reduce the possibility of severe symptoms if infected with the virus.

MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai said it was a gamble for those still yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Some may develop mild symptoms when infected with the Omicron variant while there is still the possibility of contracting Covid-19 with severe symptoms.

“Those who survived severe symptoms will tell you that Covid-19 should not be taken lightly. Many of them were traumatised by the event.

“The public should know that even though the country is transitioning to endemicity, we are still seeing hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 on a daily basis,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Koh said while symptoms of the Omicron variant are mostly mild, it is not always the case.

He said if a person’s natural immune system is weak, there is still the possibility of severe symptoms when infected with the virus, even if they have been vaccinated.

“What more those who haven’t even received their primary jabs,” he stressed.

As such, he said MMA is calling on the community not to gamble with their life.

He said people must get the maximum protection available through vaccination and a booster shot.

“Senior citizens and those with comorbidities who haven’t received their booster shot yet should not delay any further. The Omicron variant is highly transmissible and this makes the likelihood of everyone contracting Covid-19 at some point, high. So it is best to get the additional protection of a booster shot.”

He advised people to consult their family doctor if they are still unsure.

“The move by Protect Health to provide home vaccination services to the seniors who are unable to travel to vaccination centres due to various reasons is much appreciated.

“However, it may be too late for many to avail of this service at such short notice. Though such seniors may be in their own homes or care centres, there is still the need to make arrangements for caregivers to be present during the vaccination,” he observed.

For those still adamant on not taking the boosters, Dr Koh felt that nothing much could be done as there had already been a lot of public awareness campaigns on this.

According to him, evidence has shown that those vaccinated with two doses of the Sinovac vaccine will require a booster dose to ensure adequate levels of immunity.

“This is particularly so in those who are elderly as well as those with comorbidities,” he added.