PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Healthcare workers in Malaysia who were infected with Covid-19 after being vaccinated reported less severe symptoms, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah, even as he cautioned that people who have been vaccinated can still get infected.
"It is clear that we still can be infected after the completion of vaccination but perhaps less in severity," he said.
He added that 40 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham said that nine cases were infected more than two weeks after the second dose and 31 cases were infected less than two weeks after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.
He added in a Facebook post on Saturday (April 17) that 142 healthcare workers were infected after the first dose.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that vaccination protects an individual from getting seriously ill and dying from Covid-19.
It said that for the first 14 days after getting a vaccination, an individual does not have significant levels of protection before it increases gradually.
"For a single-dose vaccine, immunity will generally occur two weeks after vaccination. For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to provide the highest level of immunity possible," it said.
On vaccinations, Dr Noor Hisham said that no one is safe until everyone is safe and advised everyone to continue complying with all the precautionary public health measures.
"Although the vaccine gives a glimmer of hope in the fight against Covid-19, make no mistake by thinking that we can relax all the public health measures after vaccination," he added.
Phase one of the vaccine roll-out programme is from February to April and involves front-liners.
The second phase of the vaccine roll-out will prioritise the elderly, those with comorbidities and people with disabilities and will start on April 19.
The third phase of the national immunisation programme is slated to begin in May for low-risk individuals above 18 years old.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,602,156 people had registered for the vaccine as of Monday.