Haj Pilgrims Can Get Covid-19 Jabs In May: Adham

May falls during Phase 2 of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme that targets the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Malaysian haj pilgrims may get their Covid-19 vaccine shots by May, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said today. 

He said that this year, the Muslim pilgrimage will start mid-June. Hence, if those going to the haj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for able-bodied Muslims, are vaccinated with a two-dose vaccine, they will have to be inoculated by May. 

“We are still waiting for the quota for haj and it will be announced in case haj can be carried out this year,” Dr Adham told a press conference, while saying that usually the number of individuals will be around 30,000 to 50,000 people. 

“So, since to fulfill haj, it’s compulsory to get vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines, we have two candidates available now, which is the Sinovac and Pfizer (vaccine) and most probably AstraZeneca can arrive earlier because the haj pilgrims will go to Mekkah mid of June only.”

“If two doses, we will start in May,” the health minister said. 

The Saudi Arabian health ministry recently announced that it is compulsory for all haj pilgrims to get themselves vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine first. 

The month of May falls during phase two of Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme that starts in April. Phase two targets 9.4 million people above the age of 60 or those with comorbidities. 

Hence, haj pilgrims who don’t fall in these two categories may get their coronavirus jab ahead of time.

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