We will all meet the virus sooner or later – perhaps as fast as 3 months, or perhaps as late as 6 or 9 months if we collectively work to slow the spread – but with vaccination, we can be more relaxed about meeting the virus, Mdm Ho Ching said.
For the old folks, vaccination plus booster shot reduces the chances of getting infected. It also greatly lowers the risks even more of getting seriously sick or dying too, said Mdm Ho Ching.
Why would we all meet the virus sooner or later?
The infectiousness of Delta aka R0 is 5-8. On average a Delta case infects 5 to 8 others.
To have herd immunity, we will need to have 100% of the people vaccinated with vaccines which can prevent 80-90% of the people; or we have to vaccinate 90% of the people with vaccines which have 100% effectiveness against being infected, and not just being infected with symptomatic illness. But none of the vaccines available today anywhere in the world is so effective against Delta.
Previously, there was a chance of herd immunity because the R0 of older variants were like 2-3. This meant if we have 80% of population vaccinated with 90% effective vaccines, we would have a chance of herd immunity. But Delta destroyed that dream of herd immunity.”
What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.
“Even for Delta, we will be much better protected against serious or fatal infection if we are vaccinated. Vaccination will reduce the risks of dying for adults.”
If we already have been vaccinated, the infection will have the effect of boost to our immune defence training if it doesn’t kill us.
For our old folks, the third booster will help to drastically reduce their risk of getting infected in the first place. It also reduces their risks of dying from covid to the risks of dying from flu. Meeting the virus will mostly help to test and make our immune response even stronger. So what does not kill us will make us stronger, said Mdm Ho Ching. “So we don’t need to fear the virus – it’s a question of sooner or later, and nothing to fear if we have been vaccinated.”
So why the cha cha cha backwards one small step to stop at 2 for dining out?
“This is simply an added move to slow down the speed of increase of cases. For now, we are simply trying to make sure the hospitals are still able to treat all patients and not just be overwhelmed by Covid patients.
Delta spreads faster than the old variants. The current vaccines are good but not good enough against the Delta in terms of preventing infection. So if we don’t slow down the spread, we will overwhelm the hospitals and that would leads to more preventable deaths from other causes and not just from Covid.
So bear with this till our heroic folks working in the background can get their backend support sorted out.
There is an urgent need for more medical personnel. So trained doctors and nurses, medical and nursing students, and retirees and private sector practitioners, please contact MOH to volunteer.
The rest of the stuff are straight forward to set up, whether to expand call centre lines, to increase hospital beds, to set up CTFs and CCFs, etc. But the bottleneck will be doctors and nurses if we have to deal with a caseload of say 10,000 cases a day, as some modelling suggested. This is also why the MTF made a hard call to cha cha cha back to 2 pax dining out.”
The chart above on Sg data gives a sense of the exponentially increasing risk with age, with or without vaccination.
“Without vaccination, the curve rises steeply with age.
With vaccination, each point is reduced, but the curve still goes up though not as sharply as for the unvaccinated. And the booster 3rd shots is to reduce the risks even more at the older end of the curve to flatten the risk.
In other words, pls relax if you and your teens and adults in the family are all vaccinated.