MOH extends deadline for booster jabs to March 31

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 — The deadline for all senior citizens aged 60 years and above and Sinovac recipients aged 18 years and above to obtain their booster dose to maintain fully vaccinated status, has been extended to March 31.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said starting April 1, the fully vaccinated status for the groups would be changed to ‘incomplete’ if they have yet to receive the booster jab.

“The deadline set previously, which was Feb 28, has now been extended until March 31,” he said at a press conference on the development of COVID-19 here today.

He said as of yesterday, 97.5 per cent of the adult population had received a complete dose of the vaccine, while 60.7 per cent of the fully vaccinated adult population had received a booster dose.

Khairy, meanwhile, said out of 194 categories three, four, and five COVID-19 cases reported yesterday, 45 cases were not vaccinated or not been completely vaccinated; 108 cases had two doses but not a booster dose while 41 cases had received a booster dose.

“It means those who experienced severe symptoms now are those who have no vaccination or no booster dose protection,” he said.

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 31,199 new cases COVID-19, with 20,399 recoveries.

“While we are seeing an increase in daily cases as well as more hospital admissions, the vaccine is showing excellent effectiveness in protection from more severe infection.

“Especially (for) adults or seniors who have received a booster dose, teenagers who have been fully vaccinated with two doses…that is why we have only seen a slight increase in admissions to the intensive care unit and deaths due to COVID-19,” he said.

On reports of Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI), Khairy said the Ministry of Health (MOH) received 1,758 reports during the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) which started in February 2021 until Feb 18 this year.

He said of the total, 595 reports received were death cases and the investigation conducted by the COVID-19 Vaccine Special Pharmacovigilance Committee (JFK) found 443 completed reports showing ‘no causal association has been determined at this point’, while the remaining 152 reports were still under investigation.

Khairy said the MOH would issue a case baseline for some diseases or health incidents so that the people would not arbitrarily associate health incidents with AEFI.

“The current example is many of the reports we receive either from official reports or the media that are not made on the official channels of AEFI, say patients suffer a stroke after being vaccinated.

“Every day in Malaysia, we have 90 to 120 cases of baseline stroke before PICK was started. In a situation where we give the vaccine to many people, there will be cases of stroke that have nothing to do with the vaccine.

“We do have a natural baseline because it is very important for us to do investigations, laboratory analysis, tissue samples and blood samples so that we can find what is said to be causality whether it is because of AEFI or other reasons,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency