Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has warned of the idea of people trying to be infected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 with the hope of getting natural immunity.
He added that despite the Omicron variant being milder and less deadly, it is still a bad idea to do so because each individual’s response to the virus can vary wildly.
“We don’t know how the effects of the virus will be on a patient, whether he is vaccinated or not, or how the ‘long Covid’ syndrome is going to be.”
“There’s still no scientific proof to say that getting infected with the Omicron variant will give us herd immunity.”
“We know Omicron is milder, thank God, but it doesn’t mean we should go out there and get infected,” he was quoted saying by The Star after the opening of the national level GO-NGO Model KK 2.0 programme yesterday (16 January).
Khairy was saying this in response to a virologist who suggests that Omicron’s high transmissibility and yet milder symptoms and lower mortality rates could help build herd immunity in societies.
Following this, there were reports and social media postings of people suggesting the idea of intentionally mingling with the infected to get Covid-19 and get the disease “out of the way.”
Khairy said the ministry’s message to the public was simple – “You do not want to catch Covid.”
“It does not matter which (Covid-19) variant, whether its Omicron, Delta, Alpha or Beta.”
Khairy then advised the public to register themselves for the Covid-19 booster shots.