Sinovac and AZ vaccines approved for booster dose

PETALING JAYA: The Drug Control Authority has given conditional approval for the Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca to be used as booster shots, said the Health Ministry.

In a statement yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said approval had been given for the two vaccines to be used as booster doses for individuals aged 18 years and above who had received vaccines of the same type (homologous).

“The booster vaccine for AstraZeneca will be administered six months from when the second dose was given while for CoronaVac, the booster dose will be administered three to six months after the second dose,” he added.

The administration of the booster doses for both vaccine varieties to targeted groups will be outlined by the Covid-19 Immunisation Booster Task Force and announced from time to time.

He said the Health Ministry wanted to emphasise that the conditional registration approval required information on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccines to be monitored and evaluated based on the latest data.

“This is to ensure that the comparison of benefits over risk of the vaccines remains positive,” he said.

He said the ministry was committed to upgrading access to Covid-19 vaccine products in the country.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted that the conditional approval of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac booster doses would allow the Vaccination Technical Working Group to make recommendations on who could receive the shot under the heterologous booster programme.

He also told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that to expedite the administration of booster doses, the ministry would reopen several vaccination centres and use the services of public and private health facilities.

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