Dangerous to Get Infected with Covid-19 on Purpose Hoping for Natural Immunity

KLANG: It is a bad idea and a dangerous one if people are trying to get infected with Covid-19 and the Omicron variant on purpose in the hope of getting natural immunity.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today cautioned that seeking out the infection was not the recommended public health measure to gain immunity against the virus and control the pandemic.

The ministry’s message to the public, he said, was simple – “You do not want to catch Covid.”

He said it was unwise for people to assume that their case would be mild.

“It does not matter which (Covid-19) variant, whether its Omicron, Delta, Alpha or Beta.

“Do not go out to get infected on purpose because firstly, we do not know the effect of Covid on people, whether unvaccinated or fully immunised (as symptoms and conditions vary).

“Secondly, we do not know the risk of ‘long Covid’ (in which symptoms persist for weeks or months after their initial diagnosis).

“Today, we might say Omicron is milder than the (highly transmissible predecessor) Delta, so why not we just get infected with Omicron on purpose to supposedly build herd immunity, and get it over with?”

Khairy said this had not been proven and the ministry’s advice remains, which was for those eligible to get their Covid-19 booster shots.

“For now, we know that the Omicron variant is milder, which may be a silver lining (in this pandemic management). But that does not mean you should go out there and get Omicron.”

“There is no public health approach in the world that has stated that we should let Omicron live through society so that we are all immune (to the virus).”

“It is scientifically proven that any Covid infection gives you immunity or increases your immunity, but do not use that argument to go and get Covid. It’s very silly,” Khairy said at a press conference here after launching the National-level End AIDS Through the ‘Go-NGO’ Smart Collaboration Model KK 2.0 (Mengakhiri AIDS Melalui Kerjasama Pintar ‘Go-NGO’ Model KK 2.0 Peringkat Kebangsaan).

Khairy was commenting on recent reports citing South African virologists who stated that the Omicron variant could help build herd immunity in societies due to its high transmissibility.

Following this, there were reports and social media postings of people proposing the idea of intentionally mingling with the infected to get Covid-19 and get the disease “out of the way.”

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2022/01/763438/dangerous-get-infected-covid-19-purpose-hoping-natural-immunity

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