Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has revealed that the government is considering making booster shots mandatory for an individual to be considered fully vaccinated. This comes after it was revealed that 40% of those offered the booster did not show up for their appointment.
The minister told the New Straits Times that while they are still maintaining their approach of persuading, encouraging, and pleading, making the booster dose mandatory is the government’s “Plan B” if the uptake remains low.
Labuan and Sarawak once again lead the nation in vaccinations with 92% & 68% of eligible population receiving their COVID-19 booster jab, respectively. We are at a critical point in our fight against COVID-19. If you get a booster appointment, go for it.
— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) November 23, 2021
While the country’s mobility has returned to pre-pandemic levels, Khairy warned that complacency could lead to an increase in the number of hospitalisations. He added that for the past two weeks, the hospital bed utilisation rate nationwide had hovered above 50%.
Currently, booster shot appointments are being given automatically via MySejahtera to those eligible. This includes all adults over 40, as well as those over 18 with comorbidities, pregnant women, frontline workers, staff and residents of care facilities, and those going abroad. However, you can register to be on the waiting list for private health care facilities which might get you a booster much earlier in the case of no-shows.
Recipients of the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for the booster six months after their second dose, while those who got Sinovac are eligible after three months as its efficacy wanes the quickest. The booster shot will be provided to AstraZeneca recipients as well but the Health Ministry has not yet revealed when this will actually take place.
(Source: New Straits Times.)