Outbreak 2021: Deciphering Big Data From Ministry of Health

COVID19 Big Data Vaccination

As of 10th September 2021, the data from the various sources shows that Malaysia has achieved 52% of the population to be fully vaccinated which is quite close to the percentage achieved by United States (almost 53%). Statistic Source: Our World In Data.

Our closest neighbour, Singapore has achieved almost 77% of full vaccination which is good but the other neighbours’ achievement of full vaccination is quite bad – Thailand (16%), Indonesia (15%) and Philipines (15%).

In total, 41.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 5.66 billion doses have been administered globally, and 30.77 million are now administered each day. Only 1.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

Read These First

COVID19 vaccination daily progress

The dashboard on the new website now has more analytics and information compared to the previous vaccine website that only focussed on vaccination registration and progress of injection. An interesting point is that 83% of the active cases are coming from home quarantine cases. Only a small percentage needs hospitalisation. Chart source: COVIDNow

Release of Big Data by MOH

Things have certainly changed after KJ took over the Ministry of Health starting with the release of the crucial big data to the public so that other agencies and concerned people can slide and dice the data into sensible analytics:-

The Health Ministry has launched a new Covid-19 website that provides more detailed information aimed at increasing transparency in data sharing. The website, which is known as CovidNow, will be the ministry’s new portal to provide key data in a manner that is more easily understood by the public, says its minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Describing the website as a way to “lift the veil of secrecy in statistics”, Khairy said the new portal –https://covidnow.moh.gov.my – will provide key data in a way that can be easily understood by the general public.

“The website will be updated at 11.59 pm daily, and will, among others, provide granular data on active cases and where they are located (such as at) home, PKRCs (low-risk quarantine and treatment centres) and hospitals.

“The ministry will continue to analyse the data and it also welcomes opinion and analyses from relevant experts,” he said at a press conference here yesterday. He added that the move was also inline with the aspiration of the ministry to ensure that data and information regarding Covid-19 will be accessible to all.

“I hope that with all the data and information shared at GitHub and now on CovidNow, the public will have a better understanding of the Covid-19 situation in the country,” he said, adding that it will be part of the ministry’s efforts to shape behavioural change.

(Source: The Star)

If you recall, the sharing of big data has been one of the key complaints from the State governments in coming up with a state-level strategy on COVID19. They often said the MOH is not sharing enough with the state-level agencies. This has finally changed although it is many months late.

Analysing MOH Big Data

The data from MOH is updated on daily basis and most of the raw data is opened to the public to do the analysis. However, there are some data yet to be released namely the breakdown of hospitalisation and deaths by age, race and vaccination.

Worrying Vaccination Numbers

Whilst we are making huge progress in vaccinating more people in recent months, there is one worrying number in the statistics.

COVID19 vaccination

We still have a huge number of people who have not registered and have not been vaccinated. The data however does not show if this includes students or foreigners. However, if these are adult Malaysians, then we need to worry a lot – 8 million is not a small number to be ignored. Chart source: COVIDNow

COVID19 vaccination

Malaysia’s target for herd immunity is based on 80% of the population is fully vaccinated and the deadline is 15th November 2021. In other words, in another 2 months, we need to achieve double dose vaccination for at least 8 million people including 2 million from the 8 million unregistered, Chart source: COVIDNow

Complications After Vaccination

Vaccine Vaccination Malaysia COVID19

As of to date, MOH has used almost an equal, number of vaccination using Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines and a very small portion of AstraZeneca. They have started the one dose Cansino vaccine in East Malaysia due to the logistics. Chart source: COVIDNow

Vaccine Vaccination COVID19

Considering that Pfizer and Sinovac were administrated equally, it is a concern that a high number of serious cases is from those who have been vaccinated with Pfizer. Is it because the 2nd dose immunity is getting low and is in need of a 3rd booster? Chart source: COVIDNow

Interestingly and perhaps left accidentally (because there is no update after 5th September) is the data on the cases that were encountered on those already been vaccinated.

Vaccine Vaccination COVID19

The high number of blood clots reported for those vaccinated with AstraZeneca is consistent with reports of blood clots globally. Interestingly those injected with Sinovac is reporting more cases of facial paralysis. Chart source: COVIDNow

The data shows the 4 key complications namely:-

Acute facial paralysis is the acute onset of partial or complete weakness of the facial muscles innervated by the facial nerve. Acute FP occurs within a few hours to days

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, a sac-like structure with two thin layers of tissue that surround the heart to hold it in place and help it work. A small amount of fluid keeps the layers separate so there’s less friction between them as the heartbeats

Suspected anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Venous thromboembolism which is blood clots in the veins and is an underdiagnosed and serious, yet preventable medical condition that can cause disability and death

Towards 3rd Booster Dose

Even though WHO earlier cautioned against pushing for 3rd dose citing lack of evidence & further studies, they have actually started to change their mind:-

There are several reasons why COVID-19 vaccine booster doses may be needed: (i) waning protection against infection or disease, in particular severe disease, over time (i.e., waning immunity), (ii) reduced protection against variant(s) of concern (VOC), or (iii) inadequate protection from the currently recommended primary series for some risk groups for which evidence from the Phase 3 clinical trials may have been lacking.

The rationale for booster doses may differ by vaccine product, epidemiological setting, risk group, and vaccine coverage rates.

(Source: WHO)

Sinovac who is one of the vaccine providers for Malaysia is also raising the call for 3rd dose as a booster against the Delta variant:-

A third dose of inactivated vaccine augments the potency, breadth, and duration of anamnestic responses against SARS-CoV-2

Emergence of variants of concern (VOC) with altered antigenic structures and waning humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 are harbingers of a long pandemic. Administration of a third dose of an inactivated virus vaccine can boost the immune response.

Here, we have dissected the immunogenic profiles of antibodies from 3-dose vaccinees, 2-dose vaccinees and convalescents.

Better neutralization breadth to VOCs, expeditious recall and long-lasting humoral response bolster 3-dose vaccinees in warding off COVID-19. Analysis of 171 complex structures of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies identified structure-activity correlates, revealing ultrapotent, VOCs-resistant and broad-spectrum antigenic patches.

Construction of immunogenic and mutational heat maps revealed a direct relationship between “hot” immunogenic sites and areas with high mutation frequencies.

Ongoing antibody somatic mutation, memory B cell clonal turnover and antibody composition changes in B cell repertoire driven by prolonged and repeated antigen stimulation confer development of monoclonal antibodies with enhanced neutralizing potency and breadth.

Our findings rationalize the use of 3-dose immunization regimens for inactivated vaccines.

medRxiv 2021.09.02.21261735; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.02.21261735

(Source; Medrxiv)

Final Say

Getting analytics based on updated raw data on daily basis will go a long way in identifying shortcomings in the policy and execution. Interestingly it also shows a positive trend especially in the Klang Valley where it spiked for months and these too due to the massive COVID19 testing done by the Selangor State Government and the massive vaccination throughout July onwards.

We hope that more data will be made available even though we have reached more than 50% of full vaccination. The reason being we are still getting new infections in the 20,000 cases range which is not good. Somewhere we are slacking in our SOP on the pandemic.

And we need to seriously consider booster injections to be rolled as soon as possible considering the daily number of infections and recommended by vaccine makers. As to when and how this will do done, we will need to determine it after we have analysed the data.

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