KUALA LUMPUR: Sinovac vaccine recipients will receive Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine as booster doses, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Health Minister said the booster doses would be given to individuals who had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac at least three months prior.
"For a start, the heterologous booster dose will be given to individuals aged 60 and above based on the recommendations of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation of the World Health Organization (WHO) which convened on Oct 4 to 7," said Khairy at a press conference on Thursday (Oct 21).
This will be the first time Malaysia will mix and match Covid-19 vaccines, where individuals receive a different vaccine from their first two doses.
Before this, the booster dose programme was only for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine.
Those fully vaccinated with Pfizer will receive the same as their booster shot.
However, Pfizer recipients will only receive booster shots after at least six months after their second dose.
Currently, booster shots are only given to frontliners (health and security), those aged 60 and above and individuals with comorbidities.
"The objective of giving a booster dose is to ensure vaccine recipients received optimal protection from their Covid-19 vaccines," said Khairy.
Khairy said those eligible for the booster shots would be notified for an appointment through MySejahtera.
For those who are not on MySejahtera, they would be informed through SMS.
He added that the booster dose programme was voluntary and was given for free.
As of Oct 19, 47,728 people in Malaysia have received their booster dose.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the ministry was gathering data from Britain on the country's booster dose programme for AstraZeneca recipients.
"Our team of experts are constantly looking at data from other countries. The United Kingdom, for example has many AstraZeneca vaccine recipients and they have encouraged the usage of booster doses.
"Once our team of experts have completed their study we will make an announcement.
"For now, our booster programme will be a homologous one for Pfizer recipients and a heterologous one for Sinovac recipients.
"However, we won't discount a future mix of other vaccines," said Khairy.