KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The government will not compel but highly recommends Covid-19 booster vaccines for eligible groups like high-risk individuals, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
The health minister said third doses will be offered to the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, frontline health workers, and individuals with weak immune systems.
“We will not mandate, but we highly recommend that these groups, six months after their second dose, come forward to get boosters because we feel there is some waning immune response from the vaccines,” Khairy told a virtual press conference.
He confirmed that the “fully vaccinated” MySejahtera status of people who completed double doses will not change even if they do not receive a booster shot.
Khairy also said unvaccinated people will not be compelled to test negative for Covid-19 before traveling interstate, as “it’s impossible for us to check” through roadblocks that would cause severe traffic congestion.
“As we move towards transitioning out of the pandemic, we have to be honest. And we must be responsible,” he said.
“This isn’t a question of the government ‘lepas tangan’ (letting go of everything). As I told you, the police will continue enforcing SOPs (standard operating procedures). So even if you travel from KL to Rembau to see your parents and you go out to eat, the police will do a check [at the restaurant] and if you’re not vaccinated, you will be fined. Eventually, the law will catch up to you.”
The government is expected to permit interstate travel soon once 90 per cent of adults in Malaysia are fully vaccinated. So far, 88.8 per cent of adult residents have completed coronavirus inoculation.
Khairy projected that all states except Sabah will hit 80 per cent complete vaccination of their adult populations by month end. As of yesterday, Sabah has only fully inoculated 63 per cent of its adult residents.
Besides Sabah, Pahang (79 per cent), Kedah (78 per cent), Perak (77 per cent), and Kelantan (73 per cent) have not yet achieved the 80 per cent adult vaccination target.
Khairy noted that adult visits to vaccination centres in Sabah have dropped.
“In Sabah, we must increase efforts with current resources to activate outreach programmes.”