To jab or not to jab, all you need to know about Covid-19 boosters

24 Dec 2023 09:30pm
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

In response to the surge in Covid-19 cases recently, the Health Ministry will issue advisory for implementing a third dose, also known as a booster shot.

It is advised that individuals who have not received their booster doses do so promptly, especially considering the increased Covid-19 numbers, in order to renew their immunisation schedule.

Health experts also stressed the importance of vigilance with stricter border controls and improved vaccination coverage amid the rising Covid-19 cases.

For a comprehensive understanding, here are the full details of the information about Covid-19 boosters.

What is Covid-19 booster?

In Malaysia, the available Covid-19 booster doses comprise Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccines.

The Health Ministry emphasised that receiving a booster shot significantly reduces the risk of infection.

Individuals who receive the booster are reported to be 70 per cent less likely to be infected and 90 per cent less likely to experience symptoms and severe infections from Covid-19.

Related Articles:

The urgency for booster doses has intensified amid a surge in weekly new Covid-19 cases, prompting the Health Ministry to actively advocate for booster shots.

Who should get Covid-19 boosters

Covid-19 booster shots are recommended especially for high-risk and vulnerable populations such as the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad has specifically advised senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities like high blood pressure and diabetes to consider getting booster vaccinations.

The implementation of booster shots prioritises vulnerable groups including chronic patients and the elderly who are at a higher risk of infection.

Individuals in these groups are required to undergo a swab test and a 14-day quarantine, also recommended to get booster shots for safety.

Senior citizens with comorbidities, who haven't been vaccinated or received the booster dose, reportedly face a higher risk of death if infected by Covid-19.

For the first booster shots, individuals aged 18 and above who have received the primary Covid-19 vaccine can receive their initial booster jab with a minimum three-month gap from the second vaccine dose.

Regarding second booster shots, individuals aged 18 and above should receive a second Covid-19 booster shot six months after the first. It's generally not recommended for healthy adolescents and children.

High-risk individuals are advised to consult registered medical practitioners before getting their second booster shot. Additionally, a third booster may be considered for high-risk groups to address waning immunity protection.

Also, haigh-risk individuals aged 12 to 17 in the immunocompromised category (verified by medical experts) are advised to maintain a three-month interval between receiving the booster jab and the third primary dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Where to get Covid-19 boosters

The public can choose to walk into one of the 234 listed vaccination centres (PPVs) nationwide such as government health clinics or hospital. They can also opt to schedule appointments via the MySejahtera application for vaccination.

For individuals aged 18 and above (excluding senior citizens) without MySejahtera appointments for booster shots, registration is available through the PPVs listed on

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan assures an adequate vaccine supply, particularly for high-risk groups or those with comorbidities.

Concurrently, the Health Ministry is urged to revive the immunisation ecosystem nationwide, utilising private clinics, hospitals, and government facilities.

As we anticipate a temporary surge in Covid-19 cases, drawing insights from past pandemic experiences, it is crucial to maintain vigilance and implement precautions to collectively safeguard all communities within our country.

More Like This