The Cominarty COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech has been given conditional approval by the Drug Control Authority (DCA) to be used as a booster shot for those over 18. The Pfizer shots, produced in Germany and Belgium, will be available to vaccinated adults at least six months after their second dose.
Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham said that the additional dose, which will be given to frontliners, the elderly, and the immunocompromised, will start being administered this month, starting in Sarawak. It’s not yet known when the booster jabs will be offered to qualifying adults that are not in the high-risk groups.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin clarified this week that the booster shots are not compulsory for groups who are offered them. He said that turning down the booster will not affect their vaccination status on MySejahtera and they will still be considered “fully vaccinated”.
Given that the Pfizer shot only makes up a little over 50% of all vaccines administered in Malaysia, many in the booster shot programme will likely be receiving a different brand of the COVID-19 vaccine than the one they have gotten previously, as Pfizer is the only booster shot currently approved. Last week, the Ministry of Health approved the “mix-and-match” practice as studies show that it results in better protection.