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Khairy: Malaysians Can Register For Their Booster Shots As Early As 3 Months From Second Dose

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that Malaysians may now take the booster shots for the Pfizer, AstraZeneca (AZ) and Sinovac vaccines as early as 3 months after receiving their second dose.

In a press conference yesterday (28 December), he said the programme will be rolled out in January or February, and that vaccine recipients with comorbidities and chronic illnesses, as well as residents and workers in long-term healthcare centres will be prioritised.

After which, Khairy said it would be prioritised by the “age de-escalation approach”, starting with those aged 50 and above, followed by those 40 and above, and finally those 18 and above.

This comes after the latest data compiled by the Health Ministry (KKM) which showed that the Omicron variant can increase the infectivity rate and has a higher viral binding affinity and rate of antibody escape from the vaccines or natural antibodies.

Khairy also said there was strong evidence collected the past 3 weeks showing that booster shots are likely to increase protection against Omicron variant infections. Preliminary study results involving 21 million booster shots conducted in the UK have shown very convincing safety data.

He added that regulatory bodies in the UK, Canada, and Australia have approved of the three-month timeframe for booster shots.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the travel restrictions on several African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe – have been lifted.

This is similar for the 10 other high-risk countries in a list that includes the UK, United States, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, Denmark, India, Canada, and Nigeria.

Besides that Khairy said as of 25 December, the ministry’s Institute of Medical Research had conducted PCR Genotyping Assay tests on 366 Covid-19 samples related to 21 travellers, 306 of which showed the potential of infection by the variant.

He added that data from MySejahtera showed that 1.4% of Covid-19 cases placed under the home surveillance order (HSO) had violated quarantine.

He said that the ministry is considering taking action against individuals who do not comply with the order.


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