Malaysia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Coverage On Par With US

On Sept 2, Malaysia administered an average of 1.04 vaccine doses per 100 people, nearly four times higher than 0.27 doses in the United States; Malaysia surpassed the US’ per capita vaccination rate since June 11.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — After an accelerated vaccine rollout, Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has reached United States’ levels, with 61 per cent of both populations having received at least one dose.

According to global tracker Our World In Data, America has fully vaccinated 52 per cent of its total population compared to Malaysia’s 47 per cent as of September 1. 

Malaysia has a larger share of people only partly inoculated against Covid-19 at 14 per cent, compared to the US’ 9.3 per cent.

On September 2, Malaysia administered 1.04 doses of Covid-19 vaccine per 100 people, nearly four times higher than 0.27 doses in the US, based on a rolling seven-day average. Yesterday, according to official Malaysian data, a total of 369,280 doses were administered.

Malaysia surpassed the US’ per capita vaccination rate from June 11. This indicates that Malaysia will soon exceed America’s vaccine coverage of the population who have received at least their first jab.

The US’ daily vaccination rate hit a peak mid-April and declined to a low early July, before plateauing since, amid reports of vaccine hesitancy in America’s deep south states that are seeing a surge of Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions amid the spread of the Delta variant.

Malaysia’s daily shots-to-the-arm, on the other hand, surged 2,667 per cent from 0.06 doses per 100 people on May 17 to 1.66 doses per 100 people on August 1, before declining to 1.06 doses per 100 people on September 1. 

With rising vaccine coverage, Malaysia now plans to move into an endemic Covid-19 phase by the end of October, as the government targets to reopen the economy and return some semblance of normality to daily life.

Utusan Malaysia quoted Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin as telling a media interview today that inter-state travel may be allowed soon, as he targeted end September for all states to fully inoculate 60 per cent of their adult residents. 

The national average has already hit 65.9 per cent, pulled up by high complete vaccine coverage of between 81 per cent and 95 per cent of the adult populations in Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak, the Klang Valley, and Labuan.

As of yesterday, Penang (59 per cent), Pahang (52.9 per cent), Terengganu (52.7 per cent), Johor (50 per cent), Perak (48.9 per cent), Kedah (47.9 per cent), Kelantan (47.6 per cent), and Sabah (41.5 per cent) have not yet reached the 60 per cent target.

It is to be noted that Malaysia reported about one Covid-19 fatality every five minutes, based on a seven-day average, from August 27 until September 2, compared to five deaths every five minutes in the US during the same period of time.

The US reported 164,326 daily Covid-19 infections on average the past seven days from August 27 until September 2, whereas Malaysia reported 20,737 daily cases on average in the same period of time. 

However, new coronavirus infections and fatalities are still worse in Malaysia than the US on a per capita basis, as America’s population is about 10 times larger than Malaysia.

The new Covid-19 infections in the US are mainly driven by Delta, as the country experienced one of the worst Covid-19 surges last month throughout the entire pandemic.

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