KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The Ministry Of Health (MoH) must be fully transparent with all the data it has gathered regarding Covid-19 vaccinations and their side effects given its plan to administer booster doses from October, said the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC).
It said there is inconclusive data to show that booster shots were necessary, noting that this was also the current position of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We call on MoH to release Malaysian data to show increasingly poor outcomes for high-risk groups that will receive boosters, such as increased cases, hospitalizations or deaths, to justify boosters in these groups.
“This data can be stratified by age, type of vaccine and time since completed vaccinations, and can guide our targeted booster strategy,” they said in a statement.
The MHC also questioned the wisdom of introducing booster shots when vaccination rates have varied wildly by states, with some such as Sabah still to vaccinate almost half its adult population.
Citing the ministry’s data that showed unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals to be at elevated risk of severe infections, the group said vaccines should be prioritised to ensure all states were above 90 per cent vaccinated.
It also called for more transparency on the supply and delivery of vaccines to states.
“This information will prove that Malaysia has enough supplies for boosters, beyond mere verbal reassurances.
“In the scenario of inadequate vaccine supplies, we propose an equal emphasis on completing the primary vaccination series nationally, including for those aged 12-17 years old and non-citizens,” they added.
The Malaysian government has agreed to the administration of Covid-19 booster shots for high-risk groups after 80 per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Sunday.
Among those who will be prioritised for the booster shot included front line medical personnel, immunocompromised individuals, senior citizens with comorbidities, and those residing and working in long-term care facilities.
Ismail Sabri said a panel of medical and health experts were currently in the midst of developing guidelines for the implementation of this third dose.
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