KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The Health Ministry (MoH) is considering using the Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose, said its minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said the matter was being discussed by the Drug Control Authority (DCA) in a meeting chaired by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“Among the agenda of this meeting is to consider the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster dose and when the DCA made their decision, I will announce our policy,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2022 at the policy level in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this in response to a question from Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (PH-Bandar Kuching) who wanted to know whether the government plans to allow the Sinovac vaccine to be given as a booster dose especially for those who received the same type of vaccine.

To expedite the administration of booster doses in the country, Khairy said MoH would reopen several vaccination centres besides using the services of public and private health facilities. 

On the moratorium for attempted suicide cases, Khairy said the ministry had prepared a Cabinet memorandum on the matter under Section 309 of the Penal Code.

“This memorandum is to seek Cabinet approval on an immediate moratorium period whereby no charges or convictions will be made under Section 309 for attempted suicide cases pending the repeal or amendment of the provision in Parliament.

“The memorandum has been agreed by the management of the ministry and is being reviewed before being submitted to the Cabinet,” he said.

In another development, Khairy said MoH would soon re-evaluate the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Fees (Medical) (Cost of Services) Order 2014 for non-citizen children aged below 18 whose parents are citizens or permanent residents of Malaysia.

“Based on the guidelines, children aged 18 and below are eligible to be given health services at MoH facilities at a citizen’s rate if their father or mother is a citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia.

“Currently, this eligibility is subject to the proof of the child’s citizenship status such as the birth certificate, MyKid or MyKad issued by the National Registration Department,” he said. — Bernama