Khairy says Omicron-specific booster still being weighed, might not be offered to all

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — The Health Ministry was favouring a targeted approaching to offering Malaysians the new Covid-19 vaccines targeting the Omicron variant, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

He said the ministry was still developing which categories would most require the booster vaccine dose based on epidemiological data.

“We’re looking at purchasing those vaccines for those who are high risk. However, we are still undecided.

“We feel a targeted approach may be the way to go, but as far as the immunisation programme, we aren’t sure whether to offer it to the mass vaccination campaign or target specific groups,” he said today.

Malaysia has so far offered as many as four doses of the Covid-19 vaccines — two primary doses and another two boosters — to higher risk groups such as senior citizens and those with co-morbidities.

On September 1, 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of updated Covid-19 booster shots that are specifically tailored to combat the two most prevalent Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

The decision was after the US Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorisation of the shots. The CDC’s backing will enable a full rollout of the reformulated vaccines to begin within days.

The EUA was given to the reformulated vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Earlier today, Khairy announced Malaysia was also making indoor mask usage optional except on public transport.

However, he said Malaysians should still remain vigilant against Covid-19 infection.

The Health Ministry previously made masking outdoors optional from May 1, as part of the country’s move to Covid-19 endemicity.