KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — The Malaysian government has agreed to the administration of Covid-19 booster shots for high-risk groups after 80 per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
Among those who will be prioritised for the booster shot included front line medical personnel, immunocompromised individuals, senior citizens with comorbidities, and those residing and working in long-term care facilities.
Ismail Sabri said a panel of medical and health experts were currently in the midst of developing guidelines for the implementation of this third dose.
“In an effort to increase protection to the vulnerable from the risk of Covid-19 infection, the government also agreed to implement the giving of a third Covid-19 vaccine dose.
“This third dose would be able to increase the immunity level of individuals at high-risk for Covid-19 infections, which may decrease over a period of time after their second vaccine dose,” he said in a statement here.
A booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.
He said all details for the aforementioned Covid-19 booster shot will be announced by the Health Ministry.
Separately, Ismail Sabri the government has allocated RM471.6 million for the “Covid-19 Care Package” (PPC) meant for Malaysians in the B40 income category.
Ismail Sabri said the allocation aimed at alleviating the financial burden of B40 households and assisting them in protecting themselves from Covid-19 as the country transitioned towards the endemic phase.
Items included in the PPC for each household consisted of four reusable face masks, four Covid-19 self test kits, one pulse oximeter, one thermometer including user guideline and health brochures.
In total, Ismail Sabri said 8.4 million eligible recipients of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) will receive the care package.
“Those who are married with or without children or single parents with children will be among the first recipients of the PPC,” he said, adding that these constituted some 3.6 million B40 households nationwide.