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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Murderer? Excuses? KJ hits back at critics

 


Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today hit back at critics with news reports to back his vaccination policies.

This was done in a series of Instagram "Stories" posts where he stated his position on various topics and that of his critics.

Addressing critics of his policy on vaccine mixing, he pointed to a recent AFP news report on German Chancellor Angela Merkel receiving a Moderna Covid-19 shot after an AztraZeneca first dose.

On June 17, Khairy said the government was studying the possibility of a "mix-and-match" method to improve vaccine efficacy.

A large number of trials for this strategy are currently taking place worldwide. Malaysiakini previously explained the rationale behind it in a KiniGuide.

Khairy melodramatically said in his post that critics against this policy had called him a "murderer".

On critics who claimed he was making excuses by blaming the unfair distribution of vaccines globally, the minister turned to World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus was cited by Reuters on May 24 to have said that 75 percent of Covid-19 vaccines were administered by just 10 countries.

Although Khairy repeatedly said in public that Malaysia did not have the purchasing power that some countries had, yesterday he accused Europe of "hoarding" vaccines.

This resulted in a rebuke from European Union ambassador Michalis Rokas, who claimed that five million made-in-Europe vaccines had reached Malaysia.

However, one of Khairy's advisors pointed out that those vaccines had mostly been administered.

On allegations that "mass" vaccination centres were a waste of money, Khairy pointed to a BBC news report that this was practised in the UK as well.

On DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng's criticism that Putrajaya was moving away from the "herd immunity" terminology, Khairy pointed to a news article citing US medical adviser to the president Dr Anthony Fauci citing "herd immunity" as "elusive" and "mystical".

Fauci repeatedly stated that "herd immunity" to Covid-19 was an "elusive concept" because there was no definitive percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to achieve it.

Instead, Fauci said the strategy for the US was to focus on vaccinating as many people as possible instead of focusing on a threshold.

As of June 21, 18.73 percent out of an estimated 23.41 million adults in Malaysia have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.

Putrajaya aims to vaccinate 80 percent of the population by the year's end. - Mkini

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