KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Sarawak has adopted heterologous Covid-19 vaccination, even though the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has yet to announce any approval for mix-and-match inoculation with boosters.
Sarawak state housing and local government minister Dr Sim Kui Hian stated that Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine would be offered as a booster not just to senior citizens who were double vaccinated with the same vaccine, but also to those who had received two doses of Sinovac.
Approximately 340,000 Sarawakians, consisting of those aged 60 years and older, and high-risk and vulnerable groups, will be offered Pfizer at least six months after the second jab for those who previously received the same mRNA vaccine, and at least three months after the second dose for those fully vaccinated with Sinovac.
Dr Sim confirmed with CodeBlue that Sarawak is offering Pfizer as an additional shot to those who received two doses of Sinovac, an inactivated vaccine.
“Timely decision by the medical experts from NPRA of KKM and YB KJ for making the above booster dose decisions as Sarawak is the first state completed vaccination, hence will be the first state needs decisions for booster dose,” Dr Sim mentioned in a Facebook post yesterday.
Despite Dr Sim’s claims about Malaysia’s pharmaceutical regulatory agency supposedly approving mix-and-match vaccination, NPRA has not issued a statement authorising heterologous inoculation with boosters.
Only Pfizer has been given conditional registration approval to be used as a booster or additional shot for individuals who previously received double doses of the same vaccine.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed in a statement last October 13 that only Pfizer boosters would be offered to eligible people — such as the elderly, health care staff, and frontline workers — who were double vaccinated with the same shot. This is pending an MOH study on heterologous vaccination with booster doses that will be conducted in Sarawak.
Dr Sim said the eligible population will receive the third Pfizer shot for free and are required to register for it at the nearest public health clinics or selected private clinics.
A poster shared by the Sarawak State Health Department (JKNS) on its official Facebook page revealed that Sarawak residents aged 60 and above are welcomed to receive Covid-19 booster shots.