KUALA LUMPUR, August 30 — About 17.8 per cent, or 68,629 of 385,542 new Covid-19 cases reported in Malaysia since August 12, were fully vaccinated.
The proportion of fully vaccinated people two weeks or longer after their second jab in two-dose regimens, or breakthrough infections, among total coronavirus cases rose from 12.6 per cent on August 12 to 23.9 per cent yesterday.
Majority of the 68,629 breakthrough cases reported from August 12 to 29 were asymptomatic and mild upon diagnosis in Categories One and Two, accounting for more than 98 per cent of total infections reported in fully vaccinated people so far.
Breakthrough cases in Categories Three to Five requiring hospitalisation only formed less than two per cent of total coronavirus infections in fully inoculated people in that 18-day period.
Slightly lower percentages of fully vaccinated people infected with Covid-19 were hospitalised for Categories Three to Five infection at 1.6 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.
Only 0.8 per cent of fully vaccinated people infected with the coronavirus entered the intensive care unit (ICU) for Categories Four to Five infections, compared to 1.3 per cent of partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.
Although the Ministry of Health (MOH) releases data on breakthrough cases in all categories of clinical severity, the ministry does not publish daily numbers on fully vaccinated people among Covid-19 deaths. MOH’s daily statistics on the clinical categorisation of new infections do not take into account people who deteriorate into severe disease after diagnosis.
CodeBlue did not analyse the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals overall who were diagnosed with Covid-19 as MOH only started releasing data on breakthrough infections involving double-jabbed people since August 12, instead of from April after the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme began late February.
The vaccine breakthrough situation is not unique to Malaysia. The United States is experiencing an increasing proportion of breakthrough cases as well. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study showed that fully vaccinated people comprised about 25 per cent of Covid-19 cases reported in Los Angeles from May 1 to July 25.
The CDC pointed out however that in Los Angeles, unvaccinated people had five times more Covid-19 infections and 29 times more hospitalisations from the virus than the fully vaccinated.
Last month, when the Delta variant was predominant, cycle threshold (Ct) values in the Los Angeles research were similar for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and vaccinated people, though the CDC cautioned that Ct values may not fully represent the amount of viral load.
The CDC’s Los Angeles study showed a much bigger percentage of hospitalisations among partially unvaccinated or unvaccinated people infected with Covid-19 at 6.2 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively, compared to 3.2 per cent of fully vaccinated individuals, unlike Malaysian data with just a 0.6 percentage point difference between the fully vaccinated (1.6 per cent) and those not fully inoculated (2.2 per cent).