KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — After the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, more Malaysians have registered for the second Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.

The uptake of the Covid-19 booster dose surged since last month, with a record high of 9,995 shots taken in the last 24 hours.

The Health Ministry earlier said that the highly infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the disease has already spread within the community.

According to the Health Ministry’s CovidNow website, the seven-day average previously was just 5,126 doses administered per day for the second booster shot and 2,529 doses per day in the seven days before that.

The total number of second booster shots administered in the country since its introduction in April stands at 192,806.

People aged between 70 and 79-years-old were among the highest recipients with 3.1 per cent, followed by people aged 80 and above with 2.8 per cent, and people aged between 60 and 69 with 2.5 per cent, while the remaining age group at below one per cent.

Klang Valley administered the highest daily fourth dose of the vaccine with 6,053 followed by Kuala Lumpur with 3,079 and Selangor with 2,960 doses.

Johor administered 726 second booster shot, Perak 677, Sarawak 594, Melaka 517, Sabah 303, Kedah 296, Pahang 287, Penang 286 and Negri Sembilan 200.

Meanwhile, Kelantan, Perlis, Terengganu, Labuan and Putrajaya administered below 100 shots of the fourth dose.

In April, the Health Ministry announced that the second Covid-19 booster shot was recommended 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 had said that these two groups will begin receiving "booking links” in stages via the MySejahtera application.

On May 12, the government further extended the eligibility criteria where people aged 18 to 59 are allowed to receive the fourth dose if they have chronic diseases, after consulting a medical practitioner on the matter.

However, healthcare workers are eligible, regardless of age or health status.

People who are 60-years-old,were no longer required to consult a doctor before receiving the second booster shot regardless of whether they have comorbidities.

The government is now considering whether to expand the eligibility for second booster doses even further, which would allow adults below 60 to receive the shot even if they don’t have comorbidities and the result is expected to be known by end of next week.