Rate of breakthrough infections demonstrates effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's breakthrough infection rate stood at 1.30 cases for every 100 people, a Health Ministry study revealed today. 


The study, called the Real-World Evaluation of Covid-19 Vaccines under the Malaysia National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (RECoVaM), involved 14,500,984 fully vaccinated individuals and was jointly undertaken by ICR and the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) between April 1 to Sept 12.


Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) director Dr Kalaiarasu Peariasamy said the rate of breakthrough infections increased with each day, starting from the day an individual completes both vaccine doses.

"Half of the breakthrough infections occurred within the first 30 days (after full vaccination). The infectivity rate was recorded between 5.20 and 5.30 per cent within 120 days after full vaccination.


"However, the overall rate of breakthrough infections in the country is very low and this demonstrates the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines," he said, during a media engagement session by seven health experts from the Health Ministry on vaccine effectiveness and adolescent vaccination.

Most of the breakthrough infections that led to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and fatalities occurred among Sinovac vaccine recipients, the study revealed.

While 0.011 per cent of Sinovac vaccine recipients required treatment at ICU after developing breakthrough infections, the study found only 0.002 per cent of Pfizer vaccine recipients and 0.001 per cent of AstraZeneca vaccine recipients with similar conditions were admitted to ICU wards.

Irrespective of the vaccine brand, the RECoVaM study also found that overall ICU admission rate among fully vaccinated individuals stood at 0.0066 per cent while the overall mortality rate among them stood at 0.010 per cent.

Dr Kalaiarasu said complete vaccination can reduce the risk of ICU admission by 83 per cent and lower the risk of death due to the virus by 88 per cent.

"Complete vaccinations can reduce one intensive care unit (ICU) admission for every 67 persons infected with Covid-19, and one death for every 97 individuals who get infected," he added.

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