KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 – Khairy Jamaluddin clarified today that triple-vaccinated elderly people and primed Sinovac recipients will be subject to the same Covid-19 quarantine policy as other “boosted” individuals.
The health minister said senior citizens aged 60 years and older, as well as adults who received Sinovac for their primary vaccine course, will be considered “fully vaccinated” with three doses from March 1. From this date, individuals from these two groups will be designated “partially vaccinated” if they only received two doses.
However, the five-day quarantine period for “boosted” close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases and international travellers returning to Malaysia will be extended to senior citizens and primed Sinovac recipients who received three vaccine doses, Khairy said.
For those aged below 60 and people who received other vaccines for their primary course, their vaccination status turns to “boosted” after a third dose.
Khairy acknowledged a lack of data on whether boosted individuals have a shorter incubation period if infected.
“Non-boosted individuals have a similar risk of acquiring Omicron as unvaccinated,” Khairy told a press conference today.
“But those who are boosted will have up to 70 per cent less risk of acquiring Omicron. By shortening the quarantine period for those who are boosted, the number of missed infections, especially at the point of entry, will be smaller.”
When asked if the government would offer a fourth vaccine dose to senior citizens and those who received the Sinovac primary series, Khairy said: “It’s sufficient for them to do one (booster) for now, until we have different data.”
Close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases are currently subject to five days’ self-isolation if they are boosted (which now includes triple-vaccinated seniors and primed Sinovac recipients) or seven days’ quarantine for non-boosted individuals (unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated).
The government’s new quarantine policy for travellers returning to Malaysia effective January 24, as announced by Khairy today, shortens self-isolation to five days for boosted individuals.
Fully vaccinated people must quarantine for seven days upon returning from abroad, whereas the partially vaccinated or unvaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days. Covid-19 tests are required before exit from isolation.