Four high-risk groups will receive third Covid-19 vaccine dose from Oct, says Khairy

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Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the ministry in Putrajaya, September 24, 2021. — Bernama pic
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the ministry in Putrajaya, September 24, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — The Health Ministry (MoH) has announced that for now, only targeted groups will get priority for a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine starting next month.

The four groups are medical frontliners, the immunocompromised, the elderly with comorbidities and individuals in long-term healthcare facilities.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the third dose will increase a person’s immunity response to the Covid-19 virus in cases where the initial two doses might not suffice.

“The priority of giving this third dose will be focused on high-risk groups first, such as health frontline members, immunocompromised patients, the elderly with comorbidities and individuals living or working in long-term care facilities.

“This third dose can increase the level of immunity in individuals at high risk for Covid-19 infection, where the second dose is not sufficient to enhance the immune response to Covid-19 infection,” he said during a press conference this evening.

Khairy further stated that medical specialists are developing clinical guidelines for this third round of doses and they will be discussed when the next National Immunisation Task Force meeting takes place.

He also explained the difference between a third dose and a booster shot.

A third dose increases the level of immunity in individuals at high risk for Covid-19 infection, where a second dose is not sufficient to enhance the immune response to said infection.

A booster shot, on the other hand, is given to individuals to increase their level of immunity which may decrease after a certain period of time following the second dose.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that a third Covid-19 dose had been approved for high-risk groups.

To date, over 80 per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated.

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