During today’s media briefing, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has revealed that 3.5 million individuals who were fully vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines have not yet received their boosters. It appears that these individuals are hesitant towards Pfizer or AstraZeneca for their boosters, and insist on getting Sinovac instead.
Khairy said the Ministry of Health believes that any booster is better than no booster. Therefore, the Ministry will allow Sinovac recipients to book for Sinovac boosters soon. He said the full details for the Sinovac booster appointment will be revealed soon. The Sinovac vaccines will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. The Ministry of Health is still recommending Pfizer boosters for Sinovac recipients as it offers a higher level of protection.
The Ministry of Health has also reminded all senior citizens aged 60 years and above, as well as all adults (18 years old) who have received two doses of Sinovac vaccines to get their boosters as soon as possible to retain their fully vaccinated status. If they do not get their booster dose before 1st March 2022, they will lose their fully vaccinated status in MySejahtera.
Prior to this, Sinovac vaccines under the National Immunisation Programme are only offered to individuals who have a history of serious allergies or can’t take mRNA vaccines. Those who insisted on getting Sinovac are able to purchase it via the private market at private healthcare facilities. The government has recently announced a ceiling price of RM77 per dose for Sinovac vaccines sold in the private market, which excludes other additional costs including disposable items and service charges.
As of 6th February 2022, 52.8% of adults have received their boosters. As shared recently, there are 1 million senior citizens who are not boosted and they are urged to walk-in to get their booster jab due to the rise of the Omicron variant.
Malaysia has recorded 11,034 new COVID-19 cases today which is the highest in the last 4 months. Out of the total cases, 99.47% (10,976) are category 1 and 2 where individuals had little or no symptoms. There are 58 category 3, 4 and 5 cases, which are considered severe.
Although the number of cases has gradually increased from January, there isn’t a significant surge in hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID-19. Khairy shared this is a sign that vaccinations have helped to reduce the severity of COVID-19 especially with the arrival of the Omicron variant.