Monday, July 15, 2024
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Second booster for high-risk groups

Izah Azahari

The administration of the second COVID-19 vaccine booster will open for those in selected categories tomorrow.

This was announced by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during a press conference at the Al-‘Afiah Hall, Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.

The minister said the second booster takes into account findings from scientific studies that show elderly and those who are immuno-compromised are at a higher risk of getting severe effects from COVID-19 despite having three prior vaccinations.

Those in the high-risk categories are: adults aged 80 and above; adults aged 60 and above with chronic diseases; those 18 and above who are immuno-compromised; and healthcare workers and frontliners exposed to the virus.

“The administration of the second booster will be available at vaccination centres and will only be administered five months after the first booster,” said the minister.

He added that individuals, who meet the criteria, are welcome to receive the extra inoculation.

With regards to those who are immuno-compromised, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said the conditions are vast as they include those who have cancer and are undergoing treatment; those with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); those undergoing renal, liver or bone marrow transplants; and those with uncontrollable non-communicable diseases.

With the recent announcement on several vaccination centres ceasing operations, the minister assured that in certain health centres it will remain open.

He said as long as COVID-19 exists, it is one of the government’s methods of controlling the more severe effects in the infected by ensuring high-risk groups are at least boosted.

The minister said the COVID-19 vaccination will be carried out at selected health centres to ensure people take the first booster, adding that now that there is a second booster, it will most likely be administered annually as immunity is known to wane a few months after
the shot.

“That is why it is recommended for people with a weak immunity to take them. We need to strengthen their immunity so they will not develop severe symptoms of COVID-19,” he said.