Malaysia shortens second AstraZeneca vaccine dose interval from nine to six weeks starting Oct 1 (VIDEO)

·2-min read
A vial of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Paris March 11, 2021. — AFP pic
A vial of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Paris March 11, 2021. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that Malaysia will be reducing the vaccine dose interval for AstraZeneca to just six weeks. The shorter interval between the first and second dose will be implemented starting October 1, 2021.

According to Khairy, the decision to reduce the vaccine dose interval is to provide convenience to individuals that have gotten the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. AstraZeneca has the longest dose interval among all two-dose vaccines under the National Immunisation Programme. As a comparison, both Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines have a shorter three-week interval. On top of that, an individual is only considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second shot.

When Malaysia started administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in May, the original plan was to implement a 12-week interval as it offered a higher 82.4 per cent efficacy. However, due to rising Covid-19 cases in July, it was then decided to reduce the dosing interval to 9 weeks so that more individuals can get fully vaccinated earlier.

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) recommends an interval of eight to 12 weeks for AstraZeneca. According to the WHO, longer dose intervals within the eight to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy. Based on the Ministry of Health’s guideline for AstraZeneca, a shorter interval of 28 days may be observed when rapid protection is required.

Besides Malaysia, Australia has also followed a shorter six-week dose interval for AstraZeneca in the state of Victoria. — SoyaCincau

Related Articles Dr Noor Hisham: Only 1.5pc of new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia in categories three, four and five Health minister: Petra Jaya Hospital expected to start operation in 2024 Khairy: Sarawak to start giving Covid-19 vaccine booster shots in October

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting