KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 – The Health Ministry (MOH) is considering a fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose for people with weakened immune systems, according to Khairy Jamaluddin.
The health minister, in a written Dewan Negara reply on March 31, told Senator Vell Paari Samy Vellu that the government is still considering giving a fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose only to those in the immunocompromised category and can only be determined by the treating physician.
“To date, there is no international standard for determining the number of doses to be given because it depends on clinical study data, ‘real world data’, and local studies in and outside the country.
Each study result is discussed in detail, especially in terms of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, including (its response) towards new variants, before a decision can be made and implemented.
“Additionally, the MOH also looks at decisions made by relevant agencies in foreign countries such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO),” Khairy said.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccine booster programme first began on October 13, 2021. As of April 3, 2022, a total 15,850,917 booster doses have been administered, with 67.4 per cent of the total adult population boosted, according to the CovidNow website.
Japan last month reportedly is considering offering a fourth coronavirus vaccine shot later this year. Countries like Australia and Singapore will be offering a fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to its vulnerable population, including the elderly, amid emerging international data on the waning of vaccine protection against severe disease over time.
Khairy said the determination of Covid-19 vaccination policy in terms of eligible population category, type of vaccine, number of doses and interval of each dose, additional doses and booster doses, involves careful discussion in the Technical Working Group and with the approval of either the Covid-19 Vaccine Access Assurance Committee (JKJAV) or the CITF Committee (CITF-A, CITF-B and CITF-C).