KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today it is recommending a second booster shot for individuals aged 60 and above with severe comorbidities as well as for children aged 12 and above who are immunocompromised.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this choice will not be compulsory but voluntary, and further details on getting the shot will be announced soon.
“There won’t be a programme like the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for this but I want to add that those aged 60 and above with these issues can be given a second booster shot six to eight months after their booster shot.
“Severe immunocompromised kids aged 12 and above can take their second shot 28 days after the first vaccine shot. We will leave it to the individual and their parents to consult their physician or doctors and make a decision thereafter.
“Again we are not forcing anyone to take this. Speak to your medical professional first,” said Khairy.
He also said that those who are healthy and above 60 can similarly take the second booster shot, but only after consulting their physician and if this is more beneficial than risky.
Khairy said the only vaccine for this second booster shot will be the Comirnaty vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech.
According to CovidNow in Malaysia four vaccines have been used which are Pfizer (60.5 per cent), Sinovac (30.9 per cent), AstraZeneca (8.2 per cent) and CanSino (0.3 per cent).
Khairy said the decision to have these vulnerable groups take their second booster or fourth Covid-19 vaccine shot was done after careful study.
He said those with heart, lung, kidney and liver disease as well as those with diabetes are at high risk of death if they are infected.
Khairy however said if they decided not to take the fourth vaccine they would not lose their fully-vaccinated status.
AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines require two shots for full vaccination status, while just one shot is required for Johnson & Johnson and CanSino. Malaysians have so far been given the option for one Pfizer booster dose.
“Whether you take it or not, your vaccination status remains as it is. We have at the moment 5.6 million Pfizer doses left which I feel is enough for those in this category as not many will qualify age and health wise,” he said.
Previously, Khairy said 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 majority comprised Sinovac recipients.
Data shows that protection from Covid-19 drops by 20 per cent for Pfizer and 48 per cent for Sinovac between three and five months after receiving the primer dose.