The health ministry has extended by two weeks the deadline for first vaccine jabs under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids), from May 15 to May 31.
In a statement, Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the decision was made in light of the recent festive season and the public holiday which would coincide with the original deadline of May 15.
“This is to give parents who still wish to vaccinate their children against Covid-19 the opportunity to do so,” he added.
However, the May 8 deadline for the registration and booking of vaccination appointments through MySejahtera has been maintained.
Noor Azmi previously said the decision to stop offering vaccine jabs for children was due to the low take-up which could lead to high levels of wastage.
Following his latest announcement, parents who registered their children for PICKids and who were given appointment dates before or on May 8 and chose vaccination dates before or on May 31 can proceed according to schedule.
Parents who registered and made appointments before or on May 8 but chose a vaccination date after May 31 will have their appointments automatically cancelled in MySejahtera.
Parents who registered after May 8, meanwhile, will not receive an appointment booking link in MySejahtera.
However, Noor Azmi said these parents would be able to walk in for appointments at government health clinics.
He added that vaccination at these clinics depends on the supply of vaccine jabs available.
“If the supply for that day has run out, parents will need to come back the next day,” he added.
After May 31, children in the PICKids age group will no longer be offered Covid-19 vaccine shots for free. Vaccination will instead be available for a fee at private facilities.
Exceptions will be made for those who are forced to cancel their appointments on or before May 31 due to Covid-19 infection.
“Given the possible complications from MIS-C, parents are advised to bring their children for vaccination at health clinics within six weeks of recovery, or by Aug 30,” Noor Azmi said.
Noor Azmi said today’s announcement did not apply to children who would turn five on or after May 15.
“Parents of children in this category can registered and book an appointment for a first dose of vaccine through MySejahtera until Jan 15, 2023,” he said.
The deadline for the first dose of vaccine for these children is Jan 31, 2023.