KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The government has procured sufficient Covid-19 vaccines to provide booster shots to all adult residents in Malaysia, National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, in defending Malaysia’s booster programme amid global concern of Covid-19 vaccine inequity, said last week that third vaccine doses would be “very targeted” to high-risk individuals like immunocompromised and the elderly with serious medical conditions.
“As a whole, we’re satisfied with Khairy Jamaluddin’s presentation on the latest development on Covid-19 cases and the bed occupancy rates in intensive care units (ICU) that show a decline, as well as our preparedness with sufficient vaccines for booster shots for all adult residents in this country,” Muhyiddin said at a press conference earlier today.
“This is a result of our previous decision to order more than enough vaccines for the needs of residents in our country.”
Khairy said last week that people with weakened immune systems, senior citizens with comorbidities, frontline health workers, and residents and workers at long-term care facilities would be prioritised for third jabs, ahead of the general public.
Malaysia’s plan to offer booster jabs to all adults, beyond seniors, goes further than America that recommends boosters for younger adults only if they have underlying health issues.
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently authorised a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 to 49 years with underlying medical conditions, besides frontline workers at increased risk for Covid-19 exposure, all adults aged 65 and older, people aged 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions, and residents aged 18 and older in long-term care settings.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has extended its plea for a global moratorium on coronavirus booster shots until at least year-end, pointing out that not a single low-income country has managed to vaccinate even 10 per cent of their population. Malaysia is classified by the World Bank as an upper middle income country.