90-day immunity for the recovered not set in stone (07.04.2022)
 Posted on : Apr 8, 2022, 9:44AM   22 total views  Category : Local News
“With the immunity from the vaccine and the natural immunity developed through the infection, they will become ‘super immune’. Their immunity may be high, but it is not absolute. People have

BY Izah Azahari

The 90-day COVID-19 immunity period may vary for individuals; it is not absolute. A study done overseas found immunity among recovered individuals to be ‘quite high’ in the period.

 

However, no mention was made on whether they are guaranteed against re-infection.

 

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said this at the daily press conference on Thursday, in response to a query on whether recovered individuals run the risk of being re-infected by other variants during the 90-day immunity period.

 

“The public needs to understand that while immunity is indeed high during the 90 days, and although the possibility of getting re-infected by the virus is relatively slim, it cannot be completely ruled out. There is a need to be cautious in translating the study. If an individual has been infected by the Omicron variant, he can still be infected by other variants within the 90 days. That could happen,” the minister cautioned.

 

Elucidating on the matter, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham cited the two Omicron sub-variants – BA.1 and BA.2, noting that an individual could get infected by the two sub-variants, as they differ from one another. However, the occurrence of this is rare.

 

“Even though individuals have been infected, vaccines are important to lower this possibility,” he said, before urging the public to get their booster shot.

 

“With the immunity from the vaccine and the natural immunity developed through the infection, they will become ‘super immune’. Their immunity may be high, but it is not absolute. People have to understand this,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

 

“As long as the virus exists and continues to spread, it will try to change, resulting in more variants. What we need to pay attention to is if the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies it as a variant of interest or concern.”

 

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also touched on Deltacron, a combination of the Delta and Omicron variants, which was found to be more than likely the result of a laboratory contamination, and “not a true variant”.

 

However, he added, “the XE variant does exist; it has yet to be labelled a variant of interest or concern and its findings were only reported from abroad. This XE sub-variant is still being monitored. The WHO will announce if it is a variant of interest or concern should sub-variant growth expand greatly in a certain place or across several countries”.

 

The minister reminded that even if an individual has been infected with COVID-19, vaccination is important to further increase one’s immunity.

 

A question was also raised on how the Ministry of Health (MoH) is keeping track of genomic sequencing to differentiate between variants in the country, now that reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab testing has decreased following the normalisation of antigen rapid testing (ART).

 

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said the detection of variants is “done through RT-PCR testing. Although it has decreased, the ministry still carries it out. The daily number is in the dozens. Whichever samples we can sequence, we will do so”, he said.

 

The Omicron BA.2 sub-variant remains the dominant variant in the Sultanate.

 

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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