Groups that are vulnerable to Covid-19 infection are expected to begin receiving third doses or booster shots of vaccine in October, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said these groups include senior citizens with comorbidities such as chronic health problems, frontliners, individuals with low immunity, as well as those living and working at long-term care centres.
“We will open to these groups first based on death toll and Category Five patient data in ICU. Most of them comprise senior citizens with heart problems, diabetes, hypertension and so on.
“The dispensing of the third or booster dose does not mean the two earlier doses were ineffective. On the other hand, it is to raise the immune system,” he said at a media conference in conjunction with his working visit to Kedah at Wisma Darul Aman yesterday.
He said many countries have started administering Covid-19 booster dose including the US, UK and Singapore to further enhance the people’s immune system against the outbreak.
However he said the health ministry had yet to decide whether to also give booster shots to everyone in the country.
“The matter is still being discussed. The health is now carrying out discussions with expert groups in deciding on the age of individuals who will be receiving the dose,” he said.
He said the ministry had also directed all vaccine manufacturers to send further information to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency to determine the type of vaccine which can be given as booster shots.
“For the time being, we are obtaining information from vaccine manufacturers registered under NPRA, as NPRA has given approval to Pfizer, AZ (AstraZeneca), Sinovac to dispense two doses only,” he said.