COVID-19

Seniors with comorbidities given option of second booster dose - Khairy

14/04/2022 07:53 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Individuals aged 60 and above with high-risk comorbidities are now given the option of getting a second booster dose of the vaccine, with an interval of at least four to six months after the date of the first booster dose.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the decision was made after a scientific study and a Malaysian cohort study by the Technical Working Group (TWG) panel, which found that individuals aged 60 and above with higher-risk comorbidities had serious symptoms and death due to COVID-19.

“Currently, the Comirnaty mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) is the recommended vaccine for a second booster dose, based on available scientific data,” he told a press conference in Parliament building here today.

Khairy said for individuals aged 60 and above who have received a booster dose and tested positive for COVID-19, they were eligible to receive a second booster dose three months after they fully recovered.

For individuals aged 60 and above who are healthy and do not have high-risk comorbidities, he said they should talk to a medical practitioner about whether a second booster dose would be recommended for them.

In addition, Khairy said teenagers aged 12 and above with a weak immune system (moderate or severe immunocompromised) were also given the option to get a booster dose, with an interval of at least 28 days after the date of the second dose.

However, the health minister said that the implementation of the latest recommendation would not affect the complete vaccination status of high-risk individuals who did not take the second booster dose.

He said the MOH was currently updating the clinical guidelines, which would detail the implementation, and had received applications for individuals wishing to go abroad to obtain a second booster dose to meet the requirements of foreign countries.

“For example, there are some countries in continental Europe that do not recognise Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines as primary doses and booster doses.

“Therefore, individuals who want to go abroad can be given a second booster dose, after an interval of at least one month from the first booster dose, to meet the requirements of going abroad,” he said, adding that the MOH has 5.7 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to meet the need for booster dose injections.

As of March 31, 2022, Khairy said a total of 701 individuals had received digital certificates of vaccination exemption for medical reasons, hence, such individuals would also get booster dose exemption automatically.

He said for individuals who are not eligible for the booster dose due to medical reasons, they were required to make a new application by obtaining the confirmation of a physician, and then making an application at the district health office (PKD) nearby by submitting a ‘Slip of Suitability Assessment to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine for Patients with Certain Health Problems’.

In the meantime, Khairy said effective April 22, close contacts without symptoms do not need to undergo house surveillance and observation order (HSO), while close contacts with symptoms are advised to conduct self-quarantine.

-- BERNAMA


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