Threat from Covid-19 misinformation, disinformation – Azrul Mohd Khalib | What do you think

DECEMBER 17 – MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in his statement last week challenged government ministers, promoters and supporters involved in the ongoing effort to get at least one Covid-19 vaccine for Malaysia, the first vaccine before any members of the Malaysian public.

My parents and I step forward to build the gauntlet and volunteer ourselves to be among the first to receive the mRNA vaccines that the Malaysian government is receiving, especially if the MP offering assistance with the process. We trust science.

Being under the age of 45, having no chronic diseases and not being a member of any of the public services at the forefront of this public health crisis, I am unlikely to be in any of the priority groups that have slate for vaccination in distribution. for 2021.

Maybe 2022 will get my picture. My parents, on the other hand, who are in their late 60s and in the identified risk zones should deserve it.

Unfortunately, there were many difficult points in the parliamentary statement that are typically found in the growing Covid-19 intelligence landscape. These can be erroneous, biased, and full of misinformation.

Many arguments and even politics have been armed with arms to strike doubt and weaken the credibility of various evolving remedies. They cause unnecessary delay, or worse, increase levels of vaccine uptake among humans.

Anti-vaxxers can be used to discredit not only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but any vaccine developed through this international effort. These points need to be explored.

Lack of vaccination makes people unprotected and abandoned. Such misinformation and disinformation can do more harm than good than the current Covid-19 crisis.

A common concern raised is the allegation that Malaysians are going to be guinea pigs for unproven and unproven vaccines. If a person enters a guinea pig or a test subject to develop these vaccines, thousands of volunteers who have agreed to take part in the clinical trials, especially for Stage 3, receive a second some vaccinated or placebo.

There were approximately 44,000 participants in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 23,000 in the AstraZeneca-Oxford trials, and hundreds of thousands of people were given the Sinopharm candidate before it even completed end-of-phase trials.

I am confident that anything that goes beyond the scrutiny of the National Medicines Regulatory Agency (NPRA) which is one of the best regulators in this sector, will be as safe as possible and reduce harm. However, it is impossible to overcome the potential of adverse events.

Some individuals react differently to medication. Paracetamol, taken by almost everyone for a headache, can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Muscle pain, chills, and headaches after vaccination? Sounds like reactions to almost every other vaccine. Some get to know them, others don’t.

No one starts talking about using a “holistic” approach when dealing with an infectious pathogen that suggests “promoting immunity” through herbal or natural remedies and living healthier lives, just been paying attention.

In addition to those who are older and with non-communicable diseases, the virus has also affected marathon runners, vegetarians, athletes and people at the heart of their lives.

There are at least three legitimate concerns related to the upcoming Covid-19 vaccination program.

First, the delivery schedule for the vaccines that have been or will be ordered. As the safety issue in the use of these vaccines is of paramount importance, the NPRA must review and decide whether any vaccine can be used safely.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Canada, the Bahrain National Health Regulatory Authority, the Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Administration and the Singapore Health Sciences Authority have granted permission and permission to Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the NPRA decides independently and must be allowed to do the work.

It is essential that this process and quality assurance is cleared as soon as possible. As a result of the delay, Malaysia will go further down the list of countries that want to get the vaccine for its population.

Second, the supply burden needs to be addressed, especially the cold chain involved in protecting the integrity of the vaccines, especially the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It is not yet known what vaccine will be available through the Covax campaign and what supply requirements will be required.

We need an honest and open debate on Malaysia’s current vaccine potential. This is to provide information not only to the public, but also to engage and reassure the health care professionals involved in this work.

Third, the hard truth is that if we had the Covid-19 vaccine today, we may not be able to move and roll out the vaccine program at the scale and level of community required. This is on a scale and crisis that we have never seen before in the history of not only this country, but any country in the world.

As we remain in the midst of mitigating and controlling the revolution, those who may need to monitor and direct the use of the vaccine currently runs the epidemic response.

We need to plan now, and the results of that planning should be communicated and shared with the public to inspire confidence and dispel doubts.

If we rely solely on the public health system, we may not have enough manpower. We also need to involve the private sector in a “whole society” approach. The government should not and cannot do it alone.

Vaccines are not magic bullets that can work alone. For them to work properly, we need to make sure that the right numbers get the vaccine and protection first, and in sufficient quantities.

We need to ensure that people continue to follow existing SOPs and practices. We need people not to be complacent. It could take up to two or three years to ensure that 70 per cent of the population is protected. We need to manage expectations.

Warning and informed decisions are essential and crucial to ensure that a vaccination effort is successful, and that individuals and communities are protected from Covid-19.

We need to be rigorous and critical in the analysis of clinical data, evidence, and conclusions, especially when it comes to human vaccines. We should be guided by the data, the science, and the evidence, not misinformation.

* Azrul Mohd Khalib is the head of the Galen Center for Health and Social Policy.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer (s) or organization (s) and does not necessarily represent views Post Malay.