Will the COVID-19 Vaccine Return Our Life Back To Normal?

COVID-19 Vaccine: Will Life Return to Normal? - DoctorOnCall

In January 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that Malaysia has decided to purchase an additional 12.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, on top of 12.8 million doses already lined up. This is due to the exponential growth of the COVID-19 pandemic that has also lead the government to reinforce MCO (Movement Control Orders) in most states in our country. 

The decision is expected to assist Malaysia in providing an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines for Malaysians. Each individual needs two doses of the vaccine. Malaysia will also receive 6.4 million doses of vaccine produced by AstraZeneca (Britain-Sweden) as well as an expected supply of another 6.4 million from COVAX (World Health Organization). The question is, will the COVID-19 vaccine be able us to a life before the pandemic?

Will the Vaccine Return Us To a Normal Life?

Life after COVID-19 has made us consider the things we used to take for granted. Being able to freely go outside, spend time among friends and families, and even shaking hands. And ever since the covid vaccine was announced, people have been teeming with excitement over the return of our normal, everyday lives. But is that what will actually happen?

In an interview with the press, the President of the Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association was skeptical about the idea and said that the vaccine only helps a person to reduce the critical level of infection. Malaysia is the third Southeast Asian country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, we are considered one of the earliest countries in the Southeast Asian region to get the vaccine. The 2 countries in the same region that have received the vaccine are Singapore and Indonesia. Singapore has large financial funds and made reservations for the vaccine in advance. Meanwhile, Indonesia got the vaccine early because the country agreed to become a testing ground for a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine.

Furthermore, the director of the Clinical Research Centres of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) explained that one dose of Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is known to provide only partial protection, while the second dose provides almost 95 percent protection. Partial protection means that an individual still has a 50 percent chance of getting a COVID-19 infection after receiving the first vaccine.

Other than that, clinical data also showed that the human body's immune system takes between six to eight weeks to produce enough antibodies to fight against COVID-19 infection. Therefore, individuals who have been vaccinated do not have the maximum immunity to COVID-19 after the first dose injection and there is a possibility of being infected with the same virus but with low symptoms. This vaccine is not 100 percent effective and does not make you immune to COVID-19. However, the risk of infection will continue to decrease as more people in the community get vaccinated. 

In short, the public should not disregard the safety guidelines of COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distance is vital until the country achieves full immunity. 

  • Will The Vaccine Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), COVID-19 immunization will be an important tool to help reduce the rate of transmission of the COVID-19. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can help reduce your risk of getting the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures alone are not enough. Vaccines will work to make your body's immune system ready to fight the virus. The current vaccine is mainly to protect the community from the complications of the infection. It has yet to be proven to have the ability to block virus transmission. Therefore, an individual who has been vaccinated is protected from serious complications but can still carry the virus and has the potential to infect others. However, most scientists believe that the COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the viral load in individuals who have been given an injection, which may reduce the rate of transmission. 

  • No Significant Changes For The Near Future

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine required tremendous effort. This has shown how scientific development can be achieved so quickly through collaborative hard work. During 2020, 61 vaccines were created, and although some are still in clinical trials, while some report an effectiveness rate of more than 90% against COVID-19 infection. 

Physicians around the world say it is important for all of us to realize that vaccine production will take some time, and with high demand from all over the world, there will be no "immediate change" in our society. There are also predictions saying that most likely we will enter the middle of 2021 before we can get any noticeable changes in society. 

Meanwhile, the director of the Clinical Research Centres of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) said, in his opinion, for life to return back to normal, it will take about 12 to 24 months. This is because after an individual is vaccinated, the individual is not immune to the virus but only reduces the critical level of infection. There is a possibility of re-infection, but the severity of the infection is predicted to decline. 

  • Maintaining The New Norm

Scientists, public health physicians and experts have all warned the public not to disregard social distancing and the use of face masks. The effects of the COVID-19 vaccine may take some time to be proven effective. Even if you have already get vaccinated, you should continue to follow the new norms until the community successfully builds herd immunity

Other than that, you are also advised to always take good care of your health by strengthening the body's immune system during this pandemic. This includes practicing a balanced diet, having adequate sleep and do exercise regularly. 

With a well balanced diet, you can have a healthy and active life.


Overall, physicians expect that 2021 will be better than 2020 in terms of the effects of COVID-19 upon the world. However, will we return to normal life? Will we feel safe enough to board a plane, watch a movie in the cinema, or shop in a crowded area?

The answer may be different for each individual. One of the factors is how long it will take for the area where you live to get at least up to 70% of the population vaccinated.

Experts also find that it is difficult to predict the condition even with the presence of this vaccine because there are various possibilities that may change the situation, such as whether an advanced viral mutation will make the vaccine less effective or if many residents rejected the COVID-19 vaccine causing us to be unable to build the “herd immunity”. 


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