Covid-19: Second booster allowed for those aged 50-59, says KJ

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. – Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Due to a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, Putrajaya is allowing second vaccine booster shots for those aged 50 to 59 years without any comorbidities, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy said this is part of recommendations by the technical working committee under the Health Ministry.

ALSO READ: Better safe than sorry, say those getting second booster

Previously, a second booster was only allowed for those aged 60 and above with comorbidities and who are travelling overseas.

"The group in the 50-59 age bracket without any chronic diseases and anyone 50 and below who wants to travel overseas can receive second vaccine boosters," he said in answer to a supplementary question from Datuk Rubiah Wang (GPS-Kota Samarahan) in Parliament during Oral Question Time on Tuesday (July 19).

Those aged 60 and above with or without comorbidities may also opt for the second booster upon medical advice, he added.

ALSO READ: Covid-19: Surge in demand for second booster shots amid new wave

Khairy said the second booster shot is also extended to those living in long-term healthcare facilities, high-risk individuals aged 18 to 59, and Covid-19 frontliners.

Khairy said his ministry is considering the usage of new second-generation vaccines if they receive approval from health regulatory bodies.

"If (these vaccines) are useful and safe ... for variants such as Omicron, maybe the acquisition can be considered in future.

"For now, we have expanded the usage of (oral antiviral drug) Paxlovid to districts and also states," he said.

ALSO READ: Covid-19: As cases rise, PM urges Malaysians to get booster shots

Khairy said that as of Monday (July 18), 225,848 people have received their second vaccine booster.

According to Khairy, the number eligible for the second booster stood at 2,519,761, mostly senior citizens who received their first booster shot four months or more earlier.

"The number of those who have not taken a second booster shot is at 2,291,913 or 91% of those eligible," he said.

The number of those who have received the first booster dose to date was 16,165,730 out of 23,008,641 eligible individuals, he added.

Khairy said 29.7% or 6,842,911 of those eligible for the first booster have yet to take it.

He also said that Putrajaya had not issued any fines to individuals for breaching Covid-19 SOPs since April, as Malaysia is transitioning to the endemic phase.

"We conduct more education-based enforcement," said Khairy, noting that Malaysia is entering the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said, however, that Putrajaya may consider tightening SOPs if cases continue to rise.

"I hope the people will voluntarily wear face masks without any form of enforcement," he said.

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