Vaccines in the War Against COVID-19: Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian countries face a critical period in the war against COVID-19, as they struggle to suppress the virus. Although vaccination is not mandatory, governments in ASEAN countries strongly urge it to prevent the disease from spreading. Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand are all taking part in the vaccination campaign with the goal of reducing COVID-19 cases in their respective nations. Some ASEAN countries now shift away from Chinese vaccines out of concern for quality and lack of effectivity.

All four countries have similar vaccination program strategies. The first step is to vaccinate frontline workers, particularly those in the health sector, to protect them from catching COVID-19 and guarantee that the health system continues to function properly. The second step targets high-risk groups to reduce the burden of serious illness and comorbidity. The third step involves strategic geographic targeting, administering vaccinations in high-risk locations based on risk assessments.

Despite these similarities, Malaysia is leading the way with the highest vaccination rate amongst these countries. Malaysia’s success is partly attributed to walk-in vaccinatio...

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