KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 ― The Ministry of Health (MoH) recommends that all prospective young Haj pilgrims aged 12 to under-18 receive a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution before leaving for the Holy Land.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the condition set by the MoH for teenage pilgrims to take the booster dose of Covid-19 is a lapse of at least five months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

“For teenagers who have completed the primary dose and are found to have Covid-19 infection, they are only eligible to receive a booster dose once they have fully recovered,” he said in a statement today.

Khairy said since the pilgrims also have to take other vaccines such as meningococcal, influenza or pneumococcal, the booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine could be given within two weeks before and after the vaccine was given.

He said pilgrims could get a booster dose by going directly (walk-in) without an appointment at Vaccination Centres (PPV) which are still operating by bringing relevant supporting documents such as proof of an offer letter to perform the Haj.

According to Khairy, the MOH had previously advised all prospective pilgrims aged 60 and above, as well as pilgrims aged 18 to 59 who were at clinical risk of contracting severe illness, to get a second booster dose before leaving for the Holy Land.

He said the move was to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection among pilgrims in the Holy Land, taking into account the large gathering of travellers from all over the world.

He said as a preventive measure, the Saudi Arabian government had stipulated that all pilgrims should get a complete vaccination before departure and also recommended booster doses to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection in congested places and on public transport in the country. ― Bernama