KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 – Malaysia’s Covid-19 booster vaccination rate spiked over the past two weeks to 260,346 doses administered yesterday alone, leading to over 8.8 million boosted people nationwide.
Based on seven-day averages, 119,964 booster doses were administered on December 28, before rising by 70 per cent to 203,496 booster jabs on average yesterday.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on December 28 a shorter booster interval of three months from the second dose for adults primed with AstraZeneca and Pfizer, leading to increased booster take-ups at vaccine centres (PPVs).
“Capacity continuously increased weekly to give best protection & preparation against Omicron,” ProtectHealth CEO Anas Alam Faizli tweeted today.
ProtectHealth, a non-profit company owned by the Ministry of Health, manages the participation of private medical practitioners and health care NGOs in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) and has contributed to 75 per cent of doses administered in the booster campaign.
According to Anas, utilisation of PPV capacity for booster shots increased from 59 per cent at the start to 86 per cent last week. He added that 150 off-site PPVs with a daily capacity of 500 to 3,000 doses have been opened nationwide since the booster rollout last October.
“With the current capacity, all time high PPV utilisation, we forecast to achieve 55 per cent to 60 per cent adults boosted by end January and 80 per cent by end February. We are seeing positive feedback from vaccinees on both homologous and heterologous vaccination. Both are effective and safe.”
Dr Mahesh Appannan, head of data at MOH’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), tweeted that nearly one million people were boosted this week from Monday to Thursday.
Khairy attributed the booster programme to low hospitalisations for Covid-19 despite a surge of imported Omicron cases since late December.
“Before Sarawak started its booster program in October, daily cases exceeded 3,000. We are now down to double-digit cases, with every indicator falling by more than 90% since September. Get boosted,” he tweeted.
As of yesterday, about 38 per cent of adults aged 18 and above in Malaysia have been boosted or received additional coronavirus vaccine jabs.
Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, and Sarawak have boosted more than half of their adult populations.