The interval between the first and second shots of AstraZeneca vaccine will be shortened from nine to six weeks from Oct 1 onwards, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Speaking at a press conference, he said this is to facilitate the vaccinations of those who have received a first jab.
The health ministry had shortened the interval once before, cutting it from 12 to nine weeks in June.
He also reiterated that booster shots and third doses of vaccine will only be given to targeted groups from next month onwards.
“We have agreed in principle that we will start giving third doses to the group most at risk – the immunocompromised and the elderly with comorbidities, whose immune systems may not have given enough response,” he said.
The booster shots meanwhile will be given to those whose antibody levels are low as the effects of the jab wane over time, he added.
He said booster shots would help the immune system of these groups.
Khairy also reminded personnel at vaccination centres, district health offices and district education offices involved in the vaccination phase for teenagers not to issue different sets of instructions and SOPs.
He said parents and guardians should bring their children to centres according to the appointment dates given, to prevent congestion and a possible cluster of Covid-19 cases.
On a separate issue, he said the health ministry is looking into improving the checkout function in the MySejahtera application.
He said there were occasions on which users did not check out after leaving the premises, adding that he too had once forgotten to check out of a supermarket.
“The purpose of the checkout function is to know our location during a specific period, which is good, but we need to improve it further,” he said.