There are enough Covid-19 booster vaccines for everyone - Experts

22 Jan 2023 04:30pm
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123RF

SHAH ALAM - Health experts say there are enough Covid-19 second booster dose vaccines for all individuals aged 18 and above, regardless of their health status.

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive officer Azrul Mohd Khalib said previously the second booster dose was prioritised for those with comorbidities, older individuals above 65 years of age, and those whose immune systems may be compromised.

“The Health Ministry has recommended that all individuals aged 18 and older, regardless of their health status, receive their second booster since October last year.

“The government has been actively promoting the second booster jab since last year but prioritised it for the group mentioned earlier,” he told Sinar Daily on Sunday.

Azrul said an additional Covid-19 booster shot was recommended for people who have already been previously vaccinated because the initial immune response reduced naturally over time.

This, he said was especially if the last vaccination was received more than six months ago since the decrease in immunity levels happened for most vaccinations.

He added that people must make their own informed decision on whether or not to get the second booster dose and whether their risk levels warranted another vaccination jab.

“The government can educate the public by getting them to check the date of their last vaccination digitally or on their vaccination card.

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“If it has been more than six months since then and if the person is above 55 years old and live with multiple non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, and continuously be in crowded or closed places such as offices or public areas, then the government should recommend that they get vaccinated.

“It is straightforward and simple," he said.

Pantai Hospital, Kuala Lumpur consultant lung doctor Dr Helmy Haja Mydin said sufficient vaccines were available and more could be done to encourage Malaysians to take the second booster shot.

“There is sufficient scientific evidence to suggest that a second booster confers added protection, especially for the elderly and those with comorbidities such as heart disease, cancer and many more.

“The government should convey the appropriate message and education across all media platforms to improve understanding and health literacy," he added.

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