Tag Archives: Clinic

COVID-19 Vaccine : Which Should YOU Choose?

Now that there are several COVID-19 vaccine options, people are demanding for the right to choose.

But should you be given the option to choose, which COVID-19 vaccine should you choose?

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : So Many To Choose From?

Several COVID-19 vaccine candidates successfully completed their Phase 3 trials, and have received EUA (Emergency Use Authorisation) from various countries.

Company Brand Name Other Name EUA Full
Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty BNT162b2 37 11
Gamaleya Research
Institute
Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac 34 5
Moderna mRNA-1273 10 5
Oxford-AstraZeneca AZD1222 30 4
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 17 4
Sinovac Biotech CoronaVac 15 1
Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Ad26.COV2.S 5 0
CanSino Biologics Convidicea Ad5-nCoV 3 0

Many countries ordered several vaccine candidates at the same time, because a single vaccine manufacturer cannot possibly provide enough vaccines to cover an entire population.

Malaysia, for instance, purchased five COVID-19 vaccine candidates :

However, with multiple COVID-19 vaccine types being deployed, it has given people the idea that they should have the right to pick and choose the vaccine.

So which should YOU choose?

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : Which Should YOU Choose?

Most countries will provide the COVID-19 vaccines FREE of charge, but the type of vaccine used will depend on what’s available – you are NOT allowed to pick and choose.

Even so, many people are demanding the right to pick and choose their COVID-19 vaccine. Some are demanding the right to pay for what they believe are the ‘superior’ vaccine.

But guess what…

The BEST vaccine you can take is the FIRST vaccine you can get, and COMPLETE.

Here are the reasons why…

Reason #1 : Early Protection Offers The Best Protection

Think of the COVID-19 pandemic as an alien invasion, and the vaccine as body armour that protect you against their attacks.

When you are under attack, do you put on the first body armour you find? Or do you wait until you find the body armour you like the best?

The fact is – even “substandard” body armour will offer you FAR MORE protection than no body armour at all!

You could end up getting killed by COVID-19, before your preferred body armour arrives. What’s the point of getting the vaccine you want if you are already infected or dead?

Don’t believe us? A team of scientists actually did a study on this, concluding that “waiting for a vaccine with a higher efficacy results in additional hospitalizations and costs over the course of the pandemic“.

Reason #2 : All Approved Vaccines Protect You Against Severe Disease + Death

Regulatory bodies around the world set a minimum threshold of 50% efficacy against symptomatic infection for the approval of any COVID-19 vaccine.

However, that has confused many people into thinking that the authorities are taking shortcuts in giving us vaccines that barely work.

Come on – 50% efficacy? That’s like rolling the dice at the roulette table, right? That’s really NOT the case.

We prepared this table to show you how misleading efficacy rates are.

COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Against
Symptomatic
Infection
Severe
Disease
Death
Pfizer Comirnaty 95.0% 100% 100%
Gamaleya Sputnik V 91.6% 100% 100%
Moderna mRNA-1273 94.1% 100% 100%
AstraZeneca AZD1222 62% ~ 90% 100% 100%
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 79% ~ 86% 90% 100%
Sinovac Biotech 50.65% 83.7% 100%
J&J Janssen COVID-19 66.0% 85% 100%
CanSino Biologics 65.7% 90.98% 100%

The truth is all approved vaccines will protect you against severe disease, and prevent you from dying from COVID-19.

It would be really nice if you get a vaccine that protects you against even mild COVID-19, but not getting killed by it sounds pretty awesome to us!

Reason #3 : Vaccines Are In Limited Supply

COVID-19 vaccines are in limited supply, and there does not appear to be enough to vaccinate most countries until well into 2022.

Therefore, the possibility of vaccines being made available for sale so you can pick and choose is remote, at least until 2022.

This is a pandemic – a global health crisis. The lives of trillions of people around the world come before your “right to choose”.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : Don’t Choose. Get One ASAP!

It really doesn’t matter which COVID-19 vaccine you get.

As long as it is an approved vaccine and you complete the dosing requirement, it will prevent you from getting severe COVID-19, or dying from it.

Instead of waiting for a particular COVID-19 vaccine, get the first one offered to you.

Don’t worry, when COVID-19 vaccines are available for sale, you can choose whichever vaccine you want and re-vaccinate yourself to your heart’s content!

 

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Official COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form For Malaysia

The official COVID-19 vaccination consent form in Malaysia has been released, and is available online and in the MySejahtera app.

 

All Vaccine Recipients Must Sign The COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form

All recipients of the vaccine must sign the COVID-19 vaccination consent form, before they can be vaccinated at the hospital / clinic.

This was showcased when the Malaysian Prime Minister and the first group of healthcare frontliners received their COVID-19 vaccination.

The picture below shows the Malaysia Health Minister Dr. Adham Baba signing his COVID-19 vaccination consent form, before receiving his first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended : First COVID-19 Vaccinations In Malaysia!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form : Where To Get It?

The official COVID-19 vaccination consent form for Malaysia is available both online (PDF format), as well as in the MySejahtera app.

  1. Make sure you update to MySejahtera 1.0.28 or later before you proceed.
  2. Open MySejahtera.
  3. Tap on the Close button on the upper right corner of the default Check-in screen.
  4. You should see the MySejahtera main screen, and it should show you a new COVID-19 Vaccination option.

  1. Tap on the COVID-19 Vaccination option and it will show you this information display.
  2. Tap on the third option – COVID-19 Vaccination Information.

  1. Tap on the second option – Vaccine Consent Form.
  2. It will open up the online consent form in your web browser

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form : In English

Unfortunately, this consent form appears to be available only in Bahasa Malaysia, so here is our English translation of the consent form.

Recommended : Malaysia Will Give FREE COVID-19 Vaccine To All Foreign Residents!

COVID-19 VACCINATION CONSENT FORM

The COVID-19 vaccine is administered to control the spread of COVID-19 in this country. When more people are vaccinated, more people will develop antibodies and subsequently reduce the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection. Indirectly, we can protect vulnerable groups that cannot be vaccinated.

The Special Meeting of the Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs that convened on 3 December 2020 has stipulated that the requirement for use of the Covid-19 vaccine is just, and must be taken by the groups identified by the government.

The COVID-19 vaccination requires one (1) or two (2) doses depending on the type of vaccine. This vaccine is usually injected into the shoulder muscles, except in certain circumstances. The type of vaccine that is given will depend on the vaccine supply at the time.

This COVID-19 vaccination could cause mild side effects and other side effects that will be reported from time to time.

 

HEALTH HISTORY (Please complete)

Have you :

a. Suffered severe side effects (such as seizures, fainting and hospitalisation) after receiving any immunisation
in the past?

b. Had any history of severe allergies?

c. Are you currently pregnant or planning to conceive? (for women)

d. Are you currently breast-feeding a baby? (for women)

I read / was informed about the COVID-19 vaccine information including the purpose and method of vaccination as stated in the COVID-19 Vaccine Information sheet for Vaccine Recipients.

With this, I understand that :

  1. taking this COVID-19 vaccine may cause reactions and side effects as stated in the vaccine information;
  2. I am responsible for the risks that could occur as a result of my decision / action because the benefit of the vaccine fair outweighs the side effects;
  3. this vaccine does not fully guarantee that I will not be infected by COVID-19 in the future;
  4. by signing this agreement to receive this COVID-19 vaccine, I willingly agree to finish the dosage requirements as scheduled.

I, _________________________________ MyKad / Police / Military Number __________________
* AGREE / DO NOT AGREE to receive the _______________ COVID-19 vaccination for * myself / * my parent / * my ward named __________________ MyKad / Police / Military Number __________________

Signature of beneficiary / heir                Signature of Witness

Name :                                                       Name :
Identity Card Number :                            Identity Card Number :
Date :                                                         Date :

* cross out what is not relevant

Important note : For more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine, refer to the COVID-19 Vaccine Information sheet for Vaccine Recipients.

Thank you for your cooperation. Please return this form to the clinic.

 

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CoronaVac Vaccine By Sinovac : Your Questions Answered!

China recently approved the CoronaVac vaccine for general use, and several countries around the world have purchased it.

In this article, we will answer your frequently asked questions about this Chinese-made vaccine!

Find out how the CoronaVac vaccine works, and how effective it really is against COVID-19!

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : What Is It?

Developed by Sinovac Life Sciences, CoronaVac is a 2-dose inactivated virus vaccine, where the second dose delivered 14 days after the first.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, CoronaVac only needs to be refrigerated at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.

On 6 February 2021, China approved the CoronaVac vaccine for general use.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : How Is It Created?

CoronaVac is an inactivated virus vaccine – which is an older method of creating vaccines.

  • The SARS-CoV-2 virus (CN02 strain) is cultured (grown) in African green monkey kidney cells, also known as Vero cells *.
  • After incubation, the virus is harvested and inactivated (killed) using β-propiolactone, a sterilising agent.
  • The inactivated virus are concentrated and purified, and then adsorbed (attached) onto aluminium hydroxide.
  • The aluminium hydroxide + virus complex is then diluted in phosphate-buffered saline (basically salt water with phosphate) to match the pH, osmolarity and ion concentration of the human body.
  • The vaccine solution is then sterilised and filtered before being filled into syringes or vials.

* This is why the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine box is labelled “SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated“.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : What Does It Contain?

The CoronaVac vaccine can come in the form of a vial, or a pre-filled syringe. Both only require refrigeration at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F).

Each dose contains 600 SU (3 µg) of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and aluminium hydroxide (as adjuvant) in 0.5 ml of phosphate-buffered saline.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : How Does It Work?

The CoronaVac vaccine is injected intramuscularly in two doses, fourteen days apart.

Once injected, the antigens on the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus trigger the body’s immune system, just like the actual virus would.

However, the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus just floats around and doesn’t infect any cells. So the immune response is weaker than an actual COVID-19 infection.

That is why it uses aluminium hydroxide as an adjuvant, and a second vaccine shot is needed to further stimulate the immune response.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : What Are Its Side Effects?

According to its Phase 1 trial results, volunteers reported only these side effects :

  • injection site pain
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • headache

They were generally mild (grade 1 in severity), and the volunteers recovered within 48 hours.

Only one case of acute hypersensitivity with urticaria (hives) was recorded out of 24 volunteers who received the vaccine.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : How Effective Is It?

The efficacy of the CoronaVac vaccine is a subject of some controversy…

Butantan Study Controversy

On 24 December 2020, the Butantan Institute in Brazil announced that the CoronaVac vaccine’s efficacy was “above 50%” – the minimum threshold for approval. However, Sinovac asked them to delay releasing their results.

On 7 January 2021, the Butantan Institute announced that the CoronaVac vaccine was 78% effective.

That was “corrected” on 12 January 2021, when they announced that the 78% efficacy rate was “calculated” based on mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 cases.

When they included “very mild cases”, the actual figure was 50.38% – often rounded up as 50.4%.

Out of 12,396 volunteers, 160 who got the placebo were infected, 128 who got the vaccine were infected.

Sinovac Explains Controversy

On 14 January 2021, Sinovac senior director, Yin Weidong, explained at a Beijing press conference that the reason why the CoronaVac’s efficacy was so low was because it was tested on healthcare workers.

He noted that the other vaccines were tested on mostly ordinary citizens with lower risks of infection, even though all vaccine studies include healthcare workers who are most at risk of being infected.

Sinovac Announces Phase 3 Trial Results

On 5 February 2021 – a day before China approved CoronaVac for general use – Sinovac announced the vaccine’s Phase 3 results from Brazil and Turkey.

Brazil Trial : 12,396 healthcare workers

  • 50.65% efficacy against symptomatic disease
  • 83.70% efficacy against symptomatic disease requiring medical treatment
  • 100% efficacy against hospitalisation, severe or fatal cases

Turkey Trial : 1,322 participants

  • 91.25% efficacy against symptomatic disease

The Turkey trial was far too small, and the Brazil trial results were tainted by accusations of data manipulation. The Sinovac furthered that perception by claiming a 83.7% efficacy against medical treatment.

While that may be accurate, it muddies the already murky water and confuses people regarding its true efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.

 

CoronaVac Vaccine : Should You Take It?

Yes, if approved by the health authority of your country, you should take it.

The CoronaVac may have lower efficacy than the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine, but it is still an effective vaccine.

The key thing you should note is that it has been proven to prevent severe or fatal COVID-19 disease.

And it offers about 84% protection against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease that requires medical treatment.

 

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Fake COVID Vaccination With Syringe / Needle Switch?

Did doctors fake COVID-19 vaccination on TV by switching the syringe or needle, so that politicians and dignitaries are not harmed by the dangerous vaccine?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Fake COVID Vaccination With Syringe / Needle Switch?

Right after the historic first COVID-19 vaccination in Malaysia, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers immediately pounced on the video as evidence of fraud.

They are claiming that the Prime Minister of Malaysia did not actually get injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and it was all just a show.

Their evidence? Screenshots showing that the nurse used a syringe with a blue needle to extract the vaccine, but the Prime Minister was injected with a syringe with an orange needle!

Suara Rakyat even posted about this, with helpful infographics, asking (with our English translation) :

Draw using BLUE syringe
Injected using AMBER syringe?
Hopefully, the government especially the MINISTER OF HEALTH MALAYSIA Adham Baba explains to the people and country, why there is a change in the syringe when the COVID-19 vaccine was injected into Muhyiddin (the Prime Minister).
Does the COVID-19 vaccine injection process in Malaysia really require two different syringes?

Sedut guna picagari BIRU,
Suntik pakai picagari AMBER ?
Harap pihak kerajaan terutamanya MENTERI KESIHATAN MALAYSIA Adham Baba jelaskan kpd rakyat & negara, kenapa ada perbezaan picagari semasa proses suntikan vaksin COVID-19 terhadap Muhyiddin?
Adakah proses suntikan vaksin COVID-19 di Malaysia mmg perlukan dua picagari yg berbeza?

Many people have expressed their confusion and curiosity to us, asking :

  • Is it true they switched the needle or syringe?
  • Why did they switch the syringe or needle?
  • What’s the difference between the two colours?
  • Was it just a show? A fake vaccination?

Let’s check out what the facts really are!

 

They Did NOT Fake COVID Vaccination With Needle / Syringe Switch

First, let us clearly state that there is no evidence they faked the COVID-19 vaccination with a needle or syringe switch.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : It Is SOP To Switch Needles

It is standard operating procedure to switch needles during ANY vaccination.

A needle is used to draw the vaccine from the vial, and it is replaced with a different needle before the vaccine is injected.

Why? For a couple of reasons :

  • a larger bore needle can be used to better draw the vaccine from the vial
  • a smaller bore needle can be used to inject the vaccine with less pain
  • the first needle will be blunted when inserted into the vial, and will have residue on the tip
  • using a fresh needle to administer the vaccine ensures that the tip is sharp and residue-free, for less pain

The process was the same for the Prime Minister, as it was for the Director-General of Health and the other four people, who were the first to be vaccinated in Malaysia.

Fact #2 : A Fake Vaccination Would Not Require A Switch

If they wanted to fake the vaccination for show, they would not bother to switch the needles.

After all, the vial does not even need to contain the vaccine, just saline. It would have made for more compelling TV.

The very fact that they followed SOP to switch needles before administering the vaccine shows that this really isn’t a fake vaccination.

Fact #3 : Orange Is ISO Code For 25 Gauge Hypodermic Needle

Orange (or amber) is the ISO colour code for the 25 gauge hypodermic needle, while Blue is the ISO colour code for the 23 gauge hypodermic needle.

So the nurse was merely following the correct SOP of drawing the vaccine using the larger bore 23 G blue needle, and replacing it with the smaller bore 25 G orange needle to inject into the Prime Minister’s arm.

The colour code chart shared by Suara Rakyat is not of the ISO standard. It could be something manufacturers used prior to IOS standardisation, or for non-sterile / non-medical needles.

Fact #4 : 15 Gauge Needle Not Used For Intramuscular Injection

This is a picture of a 15 gauge arteriovenous fistula needle. Can you see just how large it is?

Not only does it look conspicuously much larger than the needle going into the Prime Minister’s arm, you can tell that it would have been a painful experience!

That’s why 15 gauge needles are NOT used for intramuscular injections. In fact, the most common needle used for intramuscular injections is the orange 25 gauge needle.

Such large bore needles are only used for dialysis or IV transfusions, to allow for high flow rates.

Fact #5 : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe

The only reason to fake this vaccination is if the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe.

The REALITY is that, as of 25 February 2021, more than 218 million doses of this Comirnaty vaccine (codenamed BNT162b2) had been administered across 99 countries.

And it has been proven safe with inconsequential side effects for the vast majority of people.

So there is simply no reason for anyone to fake a vaccination with this particular COVID-19 vaccine.

 

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Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : 22 February 2021 Edition

Here is the latest COVID-19 vaccine plan for Malaysia, as announced by the Ministry of Health.

We will keep this article updated over time, so check back for more updates!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Four Vaccines Purchased So Far

Malaysia has so far signed agreements to purchase four vaccines in 2021 :

That is enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to immunise up to 24.9 million people – roughly 77.8% of the adult population in Malaysia.

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Three Phases

The Malaysia COVID-19 vaccine program will kick off on 24 February 2021, with the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine, and last until February 2022.

Phase 1 : 24 February – April 2021

Phase 1 will involve immunising 500,000 front line workers, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : public and private healthcare workers
  • Group 2 : frontliners providing essential services and national defence (like teachers, the police, civil defence (RELA), firefighters, rescue workers, and the armed forces).

* Originally scheduled to start in first week of March, it was brought forward to 24 February 2021.

Recommended : Pfizer Vaccine Arrives Early, Vaccination Starts 24 February!

Phase 2 : April – August 2021

Phase 2 will focus on immunising 9.4 million high-risk adults, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : remaining healthcare workers and frontliners (including defence)
  • Group 2 : senior citizens 60 years or olderdisabled adults, and vulnerable adults with chronic diseases, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension

Phase 3 : May 2021 – February 2022

Phase 3 will make the COVID-19 vaccine available to the rest of the population :

  • adults 18 years or older
    – prioritised from red zones > yellow zones > green zones

This may be the last phase, but it is the most critical phase to build herd immunity that will protect the rest of the population that cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine : FREE For ALL Citizens + Foreign Residents

The COVID-19 vaccines will be provided FREE for all Malaysian citizens, as well as foreign residents.

The Malaysian government originally announced that the vaccines would be provided to all Malaysian citizens for FREE.

But on 11 February 2021, they announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would also be provided for FREE to all foreign residents.

Recommended : Malaysia : FREE COVID-19 Vaccine For All Foreign Residents!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : How To Register?

On 5 January 2020, the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, announced that COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary in Malaysia.

He also said that Malaysians will have to (later) register for the COVID-19 vaccine through a “sign-up feature” in the MySejahtera app.

That was expanded on 12 February 2021 to FIVE (5) ways to register for the COVID-19 vaccine plan :

  1. The MySejahtera app – a future update will introduce a button to register for an appointment.
  2. The Vaksin COVID website.
  3. A telephone hotline to be announced later.
  4. Manually at health clinics, hospitals and private clinics
  5. House-to-house registration at targeted rural areas for senior citizens.

Public registration program for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine programme will begin on 1 March 2021.

 

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Plan For Malaysia : Both Doses Reserved

On 13 February 2021, Dr. Kalaiarasu Periasamy, the Director of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) announced the Malaysia Ministry of Health’s “One Dose Injected, One Dose Reserved” strategy.

Two doses will be reserved for each person, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first dose, as recommended by Pfizer and BioNTech.

When you arrive to a vaccination centre, you will be registered for both doses. You will be given a vaccination card, and registered in the MySejahtera app as well.

Recommended : Malaysia Will Follow Pfizer Two-Dose Vaccine Schedule!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : 600 Sites Identified

The vaccines will be administered at 600 locations across the country, that consist of :

  • Ministry of Health healthcare facilities
  • Ministry of Defence facilities
  • University hospitals

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Path To 80% Coverage

Malaysia originally aimed to achieve vaccination coverage of 82.8% of the adult population, approximately 26.5 million people.

But in their 5 February 2021 update, the Ministry of Health now aim to immunise 25.6 million people – 80% of the adult population, or about 76.6% of the population.

If they succeed, this would put Malaysia somewhere between the minimum 70% and the ideal 80% immunisation targets that many scientists believe are necessary to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

Path To 80% COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage

This is what the COVID-19 vaccine supply will be like for the adult population in Malaysia :

  • 39% will receive the BNT162b2 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech
  • 18.75% will receive the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac BioTech.
  • 10% will receive the AZD1222 vaccine from AstraZeneca-Oxford
  • 10% will receive the Sputnik V vaccine from Gamaleya Research Institute.

The remaining 2.5% of the adult population will be covered by further vaccine purchases, either from the existing four suppliers, or these two sources mentioned earlier :

  • vaccines from the COVAX facility
  • the Convidecia vaccine from CanSino Biologics.

Why So Many Vaccines?

According to KKM, they decided to purchase from different vaccine manufacturers to ensure a sufficient supply of vaccines.

We had earlier pointed out that it was impossible for any one, or two, or even three vaccine manufacturer to manufacture enough vaccines to vaccinate the entire world.

It only makes sense that Malaysia will need to purchase from multiple companies to receive enough doses to vaccinate its population.

The only problem with using six different vaccines? Healthcare workers and logistics will need to keep track and deal with different administration and storage requirements.

While it may be possible to avoid that by allocating different vaccines by location, it would make for poor optics and possibly poorer uptake of the vaccination program.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from the SARS-CoV-2 virus :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

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Malaysia Will Follow Pfizer Two-Dose Vaccine Schedule!

The Malaysia Ministry of Health has officially announced that they will follow the two-dose vaccine schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Find out what this means for the vaccination of the Malaysian population against COVID-19!

 

Malaysia Will Follow Pfizer Two-Dose Vaccine Schedule

On 13 February 2021, Dr. Kalaiarasu Periasamy, the Director of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) announced the Malaysia Ministry of Health’s “One Dose Injected, One Dose Reserved” strategy.

The first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Program will kick off on 26 February 2021, with the the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine.

Two doses will be reserved for each person, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first dose, as recommended by Pfizer and BioNTech.

When you arrive to a vaccination centre, you will be registered for both doses. You will be given a vaccination card, and registered in the MySejahtera app as well.

This will ensure that you are guaranteed the second dose, and will receive it as scheduled.

 

Pfizer Vaccine Schedule : Two Dose Versus One Dose?

The “one dose” schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine (also known as Cominarty) is a misnomer.

Whenever the media mentions administering a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine, they are actually referring to a delayed two-dose vaccine schedule.

The Pfizer Cominarty vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, that is given 21 days apart.

In clinical trials, the first dose was “calculated” to offer partial immunity with 89% efficacy after 15-21 days. The second dose boosts that to 92.6% a week later.

Based on that calculation, the UK Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation approved a delayed second dose interval, stretching it from 3 weeks to “up to 12 weeks”.

Their reason – to vaccinate as many people as possible with the first dose, instead of reserving it as a second dose; so that more people will have at least partial immunity.

Only time will tell if their strategy works better than the approved two-dose schedule.

Recommended : Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

 

Pfizer : Please Follow Two-Dose Vaccine Schedule

Pfizer and BioNTech have insisted on the approved two-dose vaccine schedule, stating that :

The safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules as the majority of trial participants received the second dose within the window specified in the study design.

They also pointed out that there is “no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days“.

This does not mean that a single dose of the Pfizer Cominarty vaccine is useless after 21 days. It merely means more research is needed to determine how long the second dose can be delayed.

The second dose does more than just boost the efficacy of the vaccine to 95%, it also triggers the Memory B cells to “remember” the COVID-19 antigen, to offer lasting protection.

 

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MCO 2.0 Updates For Night Markets + Businesses

There have been some updates to the MCO 2.0 SOP, allowing night markets and timber operations, and extending business hours!

 

MCO 2.0 Updates For Businesses

On 28 January 2021, the Malaysia National Security Council (MKN) announced the extension of business hours and timber operations.

From 29 January 2021 onwards, all permitted retail and service businesses will be allowed to open from 6 AM until 10 PM.

  • Supermarkets and shopping malls
  • Groceries and convenience stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Veterinarian clinics and pet food stores
  • Laundromats and optical stores
  • Petrol stations

The government is also allowing logging operations to resume from 29 January 2021 onwards, as well as all timber-related businesses.

 

MCO 2.0 Updates For Night Markets

MKN also introduced changes to the MCO 2.0 SOP on 27 January 2021, allowing night markets to open from 4 PM until 10 PM.

Needless to say, sellers and visitors at these night markets will have to register with MySejahtera, and follow the SOP to protect themselves, namely :

  • wear a face mask at all times
  • maintain physical distancing of 1-2 metres
  • maintain good hand hygiene

 

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Fact Check : Did This Man Break His Home Quarantine?

Did this man with a pink wristband break his COVID-19 quarantine at a private clinic, and put other people at risk.

Find out what happened, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Did This Man Break His Home Quarantine?

Yesterday, a concerned citizen posted a photo and a video of a man wearing a pink COVID-19 wristband, suggesting that he was breaking his mandatory home quarantine.

He was at a private clinic in a Mutiara Damansara mall when the man walked in. When he spotted the pink wristband, he took a photo and a video of the man.

He then reported the matter to the mall security, before posting the photo and video on Facebook.

The post naturally went viral, with many people condemning the man and some even threatening violence.

The New Straits Times even picked it up, and posted about it. Oddly enough – they did not even call the clinic in question to verify the story.

 

Did This Man Break His Home Quarantine? No!

While it may appear as the man was breaking his COVID-19 home quarantine, that is completely UNTRUE, and here are the facts!

Fact #1 : The Man Had Already Tested Negative Once

Like everyone who returned from abroad, the man had already undergone a mandatory antigen rapid test.

He was only allowed to return home for his 14-day home quarantine, after testing negative.

Fact #2 : The Man Was Getting His Day 13 Antibody Test

The man with the pink wristband was following Malaysia Ministry of Health’s SOP – to undertake his mandatory COVID-19 antibody test on the 13th day of his home quarantine.

Only after his Day 13 antibody test is negative, can his wristband be removed by the District Health Office, and his home quarantine officially discharged.

Fact #3 : The Man Was Asymptomatic During His Quarantine

Even though he was still officially within the 14-day home quarantine period, he was asymptomatic.

Everyone on home quarantine is checked on a daily basis, and will be taken to the hospital if they become symptomatic.

Only those who are asymptomatic (and therefore likely to be free from COVID-19) will be allowed to go to specially-certified government or private clinics for their Day 13 Antibody Test.

Fact #4 : The Clinic Was Specially Certified For COVID-19 RTK Ab Tests

The doctor was specially trained and certified to test asymptomatic returnees using the COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits.

Both the clinic and the man followed MOH guidelines, taking the necessary precautions like wearing face masks.

At no point was anyone placed at risk during this, or the many COVID-19 tests, performed at this clinic.

Fact #5 : The Doctor Personally Clarified The Case

The doctor personally called and explained the facts to the man who posted the photo and video, but he declined to remove his post.

The doctor then posted this statement in response to his Facebook post (now removed) :

Hi I am the doctor in charge of Klinik XXXXXX, the above person in your post visited my clinic for his day 13 post quarantine Covid 19 Ab test.

The patient followed all the necessary SOP as required by the Health Ministry. Both patient and clinic took all the precautions before he came to the clinic.

He would only be allowed to our premises if he had no symptoms.

Our clinic is one of the authorised clinics to perform the Covid Ab test for Day 13 quarantine in collaboration with Ministry of Health for patients who were tested NEGATIVE and have not displayed any symptoms suggesting an infection.

It would have been wise of Mr XXXXXX to clarify any doubts he may have had with the patient or the clinic before posting it on Facebook. This would have avoided any embarrassment to all involved.

The clinic itself would have reported if anyone was flouting the law. We take such matters seriously and the government has procedures in place before such patients come to the clinic.

I hope this response is adequate to clarify the above posting.

Incidentally, he tested negative in the Day 13 Ab test – his second negative COVID-19 test.

 

But New Straits Times Posted About It…

It appears that the New Straits Times posted their story without verifying the facts with the clinic in question.

As of 10 AM this morning, no one from NST called the clinic. Perhaps they would do so later today…

If anyone from NST is reading this, we would like to point out another error – the clinic isn’t inside a supermarket.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

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Kaspersky Lab Finds Security Weaknesses in Clinic IT

25 March 2016 – A Kaspersky Lab Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) expert has conducted real field research at one private clinic in an attempt to explore its security weaknesses and how to address them. Vulnerabilities were found in medical devices that opened a door for cybercriminals to access the personal data of patients, as well as their physical well-being.

A modern clinic is a complicated system. It has sophisticated medical devices that comprise fully functional computers with an operating system and applications installed on them. Doctors rely on computers, and all information is stored in a digital format. In addition, all healthcare technologies are connected to the Internet.

So, it comes as no surprise that both medical devices and hospital IT infrastructure have previously been targeted by hackers. The most recent examples of such incidents are ransomware attacks against hospitals in the US and Canada. But a massive malicious attack is only one way in which criminals could exploit the IT infrastructure of a modern hospital.

 

Clinics store personal information about their patients. They also own and use very expensive, hard to fix and replace equipment, which makes them a potentially valuable target for extortion and data theft.

The outcome of a successful cyberattack against a medical organization could differ in detail but will always be dangerous. It could involve the following:

  • The felonious use of personal patient data: the resale of information to third parties or demanding the clinic pay a ransom to get back sensitive information about patients;
  • The intentional falsification of patient results or diagnoses;
  • Medical equipment damage may cause both physical damage to patients and huge financial losses to a clinic;
  • Negative impact on the reputation of a clinic.

 

Exposure to the Internet

The first thing that a Kaspersky Lab expert decided to explore, while conducting this research, was to understand how many medical devices around the globe are now connected to the Internet. Modern medical devices are fully-functional computers with an operating system and most of these have a communication channel to the Internet. By hacking them, criminals could interfere with their functionality.

A quick look over the Shodan search engine for Internet-connected devices showed hundreds of devices – from MRI scanners, to cardiology equipment, radioactive medical equipment and other related devices are registered there. This discovery leads to worrisome conclusions – some of these devices still work on old operational systems such as Windows XP, with unpatched vulnerabilities, and some even use default passwords that can be easily found in public manuals.

Using these vulnerabilities criminals could access a device interface and potentially affect the way it works.

 

Inside clinic’s local network

The above mentioned scenario was one of the ways in which cybercriminals could get access to the clinic’s critical infrastructure. But the most obvious and logical way is to try to attack its local network. And here we go: during the research a vulnerability was found in the clinic’s Wi-Fi connection. Through a weak communications protocol access to the local network was gained.

Exploring the local clinic’s network, the Kaspersky Lab expert found some medical equipment that was previously found on Shodan. This time however, to get access to the equipment one didn’t need any password at all – because the local network was a trusted network for medical equipment applications and users. This is how a cybercriminal can gain access to a medical device.

Further exploring the network, the Kaspersky Lab expert discovered a new vulnerability in a medical device application. A command shell was implemented in the user’s interface that could give cybercriminals access to personal patient information, including their clinical history and information about medical analysis, as well as their addresses and ID details. Moreover, through this vulnerability the whole device controlled with this application could be compromised. For example, among these devices could be MRI scanners, cardiology equipment, radioactive and surgical equipment.

Firstly, criminals could alter the way the device works and cause physical damage to the patients. Secondly, criminals could damage the device itself at immense cost to the hospital.

“Clinics are no longer only doctors and medical equipment, but IT services too. The work of a clinic’s internal security services affects the safety of patient data and the functionality of its devices. Medical software and equipment engineers put a lot of effort into creating a useful medical device that will save and protect human life, but they sometimes completely forget about protecting it from unauthorized external access. When it comes to new technologies, safety issues should be addressed at the first stage of the research and development (R&D) process.

IT security companies could help at this stage to address safety issues”, mentions Sergey Lozhkin, senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab’s GReAT.

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Kaspersky Lab experts recommend implementing the following measures to protect clinics from unauthorized access:

  • Use strong passwords to protect all external connection points;
  • Update IT security policies, develop on time patch management and vulnerability assessments;
  • Protect medical equipment applications in the local network with passwords in case of an unauthorized access to the trusted area;
  • Protect infrastructure from threats like malware and hacking attacks with a reliable security solution;
  • Backup critical information regularly and keep a backup copy offline.

 

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