Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Second booster for elderly not recommended: MoH

Izah Azahari

The Ministry of Health (MoH) at present does not recommend a second booster shot for senior citizens, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during the press conference yesterday.

This was in response to a question in regards to whether the MoH is looking to follow some countries in offering second booster shots for senior citizens due to concerns over waning immunity in the age group.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said one must first look at the state of the country’s vaccination rate in terms of how many in the population have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Over 90 per cent of the population has completed two doses and over 61 per cent have received the booster shot in the Sultanate,” the minister said, adding that other countries may have their own reasons for recommending a second booster shot.

He admitted that immunity decreases over time, but also noted that there are two types of immunity – humoral antibody and cellular antibody – and it is hoped that the cellular antibody will build a memory which will, to some extent, reduce the risk of more severe infections.

The minister added that some countries prioritise booster doses for those who are immuno-compromised and have health problems, but it is not offered as a nationwide programme.

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