Consider 2nd booster shot, medical experts tell high-risk individuals
SHAH ALAM - Those at high risk are told to consider the fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine as the health ministry predicts a rise in cases in the coming weeks due to Omicron BA.5 variant.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President Dr Koh Kar Chai said protection against infection is still needed especially for the high-risk group.
"Every new variant has the potential to cause a new wave of infections as there may be a lack of immunity to each succeeding variant.
"Everyone should continue to be vigilant so that we can be more prepared than the initial first wave," he told Sinar Daily.
This comes as Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia is entering a new Covid-19 wave, with the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant already present in the country. He added that BA.5 was the most transmissible version of Covid-19 to date compared with the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron sub-variants.
The BA.5 can re-infect those who had been infected with the Omicron variant because it has immune-escape properties and due to that more people may get infected in a short time, Khairy had said.
Khairy advised the public to continue adopting public health measures and to practice TRIIS (test, report, inform, isolate, and support).
Dr Koh said Malaysia should be prepared this time after living with Covid-19 for two over years, and added as long as the coronavirus does not cause a high proportion of severe disease and death, people could live normal lives normally while still being mindful that the pandemic is still not yet over.
Khairy also reminded the public the importance of wearing facemasks indoors in public places.
Meanwhile, former MMA President Dr John Chew said a new wave is expected with more hospital admissions due to Omicron BA.5 variant.
Chew said new variants have “better fitness” to infect the public. He advised the public to wear mask indoors and avoid crowded areas.
He further encouraged those without Covid-19 boosters to consider getting one.
"Those who did not have the first booster shot should get one and those at high risk should get a second booster shot"," he told Sinar Daily.
It is believed there is 31.4 percent of Malaysians who are yet to take their first booster meanwhile 93.94 percent are yet to take a second booster shot.
He also encouraged high-risk individuals, especially those above 60 and with serious medical conditions to get their second booster shot.