Non-Boosted Sinovac Recipients, Seniors Allowed To Visit Public Premises April 1 Onwards

Khairy Jamaluddin says MySejahtera will retain primary Covid-19 vaccination history for adult Sinovac recipients and those aged 60 years and older.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 – Amid controversy surrounding MySejahtera, Khairy Jamaluddin announced today that adult Sinovac vaccine recipients and senior citizens would not lose access to public spaces from April 1 without a booster jab.

The health minister said although adults aged 18 and above who received Sinovac or Sinopharm primer Covid-19 vaccines and recipients aged 60 years and older of coronavirus shots across vaccine type would lose their fully vaccinated status on MySejahtera, the app would still retain information on their primary vaccination history.

“For these groups of individuals as stated above, they can still continue doing activities that are permitted for fully vaccinated individuals, like dine-ins at restaurants and entering shopping centres, workplaces, and places of worship,” Khairy said in a statement.

“In line with that, premise owners must permit entry to business premises, places of worship, and the like only to customers or visitors who have, at least, completed their primer vaccine doses.”

Nonetheless, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is maintaining the requirement for foreign travellers to get a booster shot if they received Sinovac or Sinopharm, or those aged 60 years and older across all vaccine types, in order to enter public premises in Malaysia.

Completion of primary Covid-19 vaccination is defined as more than 14 days from the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, and Sinovac, or from the date of vaccination with single-dose vaccines like Johnson & Johnson and CanSino.

Khairy continued to urge booster shots for the elderly and Sinovac primer vaccine recipients.

He cited local data that showed 20 per cent and 48 per cent declines in vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19 infection among double-vaccinated Pfizer and Sinovac recipients respectively, three to five months after primary vaccination.

“Taking a booster dose will raise antibody levels in the body again, therefore reducing the risk of serious symptoms from Covid-19 infection.”

The health minister said last March 24 that about 2.1 million primed Sinovac recipients in the country had not yet received their third vaccine dose.

Khairy’s announcement today was made amid public outrage over unclear ownership of MySejahtera that was developed by a private company, Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd (formerly KPISoft Sdn Bhd), without a contract with the government. Last November, the Cabinet gave MOH approval for direct negotiations on the app with a new company, MySJ Sdn Bhd.

The health minister also said earlier today that MOH may eliminate the requirement to check-in at public premises with MySejahtera next month, after assessing the Covid-19 epidemic for a few weeks following the reopening of international borders on April 1.

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