Friday, January 21, 2022

Get booster shot by February or risk vaccination status, says health ministry

Senior citizens and those who have received two doses of Sinovac vaccine must obtain a booster jab in order to maintain their fully vaccinated status.

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From February 2022 onwards, senior citizens above the age of 60 and those who have received two shots of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will need to have taken a third booster jab in order to maintain their status as fully vaccinated, the health ministry announced today.

In a statement, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this was in line with the proposal by the World Health Organization (WHO) through its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation or SAGE.

“This proposal was confirmed by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force – Booster on Dec 8,” he said.

“Accordingly, individuals in the aforementioned groups – those who have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac or individuals aged 60 and above, regardless of which vaccine they were initially given – must obtain a booster shot by February 2022 at the latest.

“If they have not received their booster shots by February 2022, their vaccination status will be changed to incomplete, and they will not be eligible for the facilities accorded to those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.”

The government began administering booster shots for fully vaccinated people on Oct 13.

As of Dec 15, a total of 4,107,585 booster jabs had been administered under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Concerns have been raised about the low uptake of booster shots, with Khairy saying in November that some 40% of those given appointments were not showing up for their jabs.

The Kelantan health department meanwhile said yesterday that only 7.3% of the state’s 1.2 million fully vaccinated adults had taken their booster shots.

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