Forum: Those not jabbed put others, not only themselves, at risk

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I read Non-Constituency MP Hazel Poa’s comments in Parliament with disappointment (Why curbs are tightened for unvaccinated workers, Jan 11).

Ms Poa is opposed to the Ministry of Health’s vaccination-differentiated safe management measures. She argued that those who refuse Covid-19 vaccination have the right to remain unvaccinated and are merely putting themselves at risk and not others.

I beg to differ. Clinical studies have conclusively demonstrated the benefit of Covid-19 vaccines in reducing individual symptomatic and severe disease, resulting in fewer hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions.

As Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam said in her response to Ms Poa, the unvaccinated, though in the minority, typically occupy two-thirds of ICU beds.

But the affected are not merely those who contract severe Covid-19 infection.

When the ICUs are filled with Covid-19 patients, non-Covid-19 admissions have to be reduced.

When ICUs are expanded, other non-ICU medical and nursing staff have to be seconded for Covid-19 care as well.

As a result, non-Covid-19-related patients have to have their clinical appointments and elective surgeries postponed.

Instead of encouraging the unvaccinated to remain that way, I wish Ms Poa would cooperate with the Health Ministry to help persuade them to go for vaccination.

A responsible MP must have the interests of the country at heart.

Desmond Wai (Dr)

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