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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 15 -- A total of 60 fully vaccinated cancer patients received the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the National Cancer Institute (IKN) here today.
National Cancer Institute (IKN) Medical deputy director 1 Dr Puteri Norliza Megat Ramli said the 60 were patients being treated at the IKN and were chosen for the third dose because they had low immunity.
"Administering the third dose will prevent them from being infected with COVID-19 or from severe complications if infected. We will identify other cancer patients who will be given the third dose,” she told Bernama after observing the process of administering the third dose to the patients.
One of the recipients, 51-year-old Aldrin Henry Serub said he actually wanted to get the third dose as it could help protect him from being infected with the COVID-19 virus.
“So, when I received a call from IKN last Wednesday, I immediately confirmed my attendance. As a cancer patient, I have been fully vaccinated, but I need the third dose for complete protection against COVID-19,” he said.
“There is nothing to be worried about (the third dose) because I am still alive after being fully vaccinated. It is for our own good,” he said, adding that he did not experience any side effects after getting the third dose.
Norashikin San Abdullah said she too decided to get the third dose to protect herself against COVID-19.
“I didn’t experience any side effects either. Everybody must get the third dose to protect ourselves from the virus,” said the 68-year-old.
According to Dr Puteri Norliza, the third dose is specifically for those with low immunity and is given 28 days after they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while senior citizens and frontliners would have to wait for at least six months after being fully vaccinated to get the booster jab.
So far, she said the IKN had only been tasked with administering the third dose to cancer patients using the Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine.
Meanwhile, IKN Occupational Safety and Health Unit head Dr Melvyn Chin Yin Chung said the third dose was voluntary and the recipients must sign a new consent form before they are inoculated.
"The recipients will be given a physical card to confirm that they had been vaccinated,” he said, adding that IKN would monitor the health of patients who received the third dose.
On Wednesday (Oct 13), Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Ministry of Health (MOH) would start to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to senior citizens aged 60 and above and frontliners who have completed vaccination at least six months ago.
He also said that the dispensing of an extra dose would be given to individuals who have low immunity (immunocompromised) such as cancer patients, organ recipients and kidney patients undergoing dialysis.
The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) began on Feb 24 this year as a move to control the pandemic. To date, 91.2 per cent or 21,355,550 of the adult population have been fully vaccinated.
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