GEORGE TOWN: A total of 5,590 people in Penang has taken the second Covid-19 booster dose, making the state the sixth state with the highest number of recipients in the country.
Penang is behind Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Sarawak and Perak for the second booster dose administered.
Nationwide, 112,565 people have taken the second booster dose.
This is the fourth Covid-19 vaccine jab for Malaysians, after the first two doses and first booster.
Penang health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said the booster dose for the 5,590 people were administered from May until Tuesday.
“It is not compulsory to take the second booster, but it is usually recommended by doctors when their patients have pre-existing health conditions,” she said.
Dr Norlela hoped that the administration of the second booster will offer protection to the people following warnings of another wave of Covid-19 infections.
Three categories of people are eligible for the second booster – senior citizens aged 60 and above; those with high-risk comorbidities; and adults aged 18 and above who are travelling overseas, which is a requirement by the destination country.
A check at the government health clinic in Ayer Itam on Wednesday showed a steady stream of children and adults waiting for vaccination, including second booster shots.
Clinic matron Norli Zainal said adults must call and provide their names and personal details to make an appointment for the dose.
“There are six vials in a set and when we open it, the rest will go to waste if we do not finish the set.
“We usually gather a group of six before we call them to come get the dose.
“We set the date and have them come in for the shot and this includes those who want their first or second booster shots.
“We do not want to waste the vaccine,” she said when met at the clinic.
Norli said there were not as many people now as before because most people have been vaccinated and booster shots are optional.
“Usually, those who come for the second booster are those who were told by their doctors to do so.
“So far this month, we have given out 18 doses to adults, which includes the first and second booster doses.
“We started giving out the second booster shots in May.
“There are still people who are registering for their first booster,” she added.
According to Norli, the health clinic only gives out Pfizer here.
Earlier, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin cautioned Malaysians to brace for a possible new Covid-19 wave in the next few months.
He said that the new wave of infection could happen based on the virus epidemiology development in other countries.