KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Approximately two million Covid-19 vaccine recipients are set to lose their fully vaccinated status if they do not get a booster shot before April 1, the Health Ministry announced today.
During a press conference in Parliament, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also said the majority comprised Sinovac recipients.
This comes after the ministry announced earlier this year that those who have completed their initial Covid-19 inoculation must receive a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
“Among those who will lose their fully vaccinated status, we discovered that 2.09 million people who received Sinovac as their primary vaccine had not received their booster dose.
“Based on our projection for this last week (of March), approximately two million will lose their fully vaccinated status on April 1,” he said.
Khairy also mentioned that both the Malaysian and Singapore governments have agreed that Sinovac recipients must get three vaccine doses to maintain their fully vaccinated status.
Last month, Khairy extended the date for Sinovac recipients aged 18 and above to receive their booster dose to March 31. The deadline was previously February 28.
Last year, he said the decision was made following the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant as well as guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), after studies had indicated a reduced vaccine efficacy rate against Omicron.
Initially, those who were inoculated with Sinovac were asked to get a booster dose of a different brand, as Sinovac was reportedly not as effective against Omicron.
Eventually, the government allowed Sinovac recipients to book a Sinovac booster, citing data that showed a high number of Sinovac recipients were hesitant to receive vaccines from other makers.