Covid-19: Health Ministry to issue guidelines for third booster shots

14 Dec 2023 11:13am
Dr Dzulkefly - FILE PIX
Dr Dzulkefly - FILE PIX

PUTRAJAYA - In response to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across Malaysia, the Health Ministry will be issuing guidelines for implementing a third dose of the vaccine, also known as a booster shot.

This comes in response to the recent increase in new cases reported nationwide.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the implementation would involve vulnerable groups, namely chronic patients and the elderly who were at higher risk of infection.

"The ministry will issue guidelines soon," he said after attending Health Ministry's Monthly Assembly.

According to the newly minted Minister, the existing vaccine supply is sufficient to meet the population's needs in the government's efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"If we implement it, there is still a supply that has not reached the expiration date, and it can protect against various strains of Covid-19," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced that Covid-19 infections in Epidemiological Week 49 (EW 49/2023) had doubled compared to the previous week.

It recorded 12,757 cases compared to 2,796 in EW 48.

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Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly said that the Cabinet was also briefed on Covid-19 infections in a meeting on Wednesday.

"The ministry is aware of the increase to more than 12,000 cases recently, and it is essential for us to pay attention," he said.

He added that various factors contributed to the increase, including weather conditions, movement, and the lack of additional face masks towards the end of the year during the school holiday season.

Asked whether the ministry plans to implement stricter screening at the country's entry points, he said it would be considered.

"The Health Ministry has an action plan. If the criteria are met, we will immediately activate more appropriate intervention and mitigation measures.

"We don't want to be overly drastic, but we also don't want to take it lightly," he said.