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Supply of Covid-19 vaccine sufficient for booster dose, adolescent immunisation programme — Khairy

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 20): The supply of Covid-19 vaccine for the booster dose and National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) for adolescents is adequate, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

"In terms of supply, God willing, we have enough," he told a press conference in conjunction with the kick-off of the adolescent immunisation programme at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Putrajaya Precinct 8, here today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier announced that the government has agreed to administer a third dose or booster shot after the nationwide vaccination rate exceeds 80%. 

Priority for the administration of the third dose will be given to high-risk groups to include healthcare frontliners, immune-compromised individuals, the elderly with comorbidities and those residing and working at long-term healthcare facilities.

Khairy said the details on the booster shot programme will be announced in one or two weeks’ time.

When asked if a booster dose is required for the single-dose CanSino vaccine, Khairy said CanSino had submitted an application to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) stating the possible need for a second dose after six months.

Khairy said the Health Ministry (MoH) would monitor data from other countries using the CanSino vaccine to get further information on the need for a booster dose after six months.

There is no problem in procuring CanSino and Sinovac vaccines for booster doses as the bottling plant is based in Malaysia, he added.

On plans to vaccinate children below 12 years of age, Khairy said several companies had sent clinical trial information for children under 12, but so far the NPRA has not approved any vaccine for the age group.

He said the MoH had discussed with Senior Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin the steps for the reopening of kindergartens and primary schools in ensuring a safe environment.

“The strategy is to ensure that all staff at the kindergartens and primary schools including teachers, operators and employees are fully vaccinated.

"That is the best we can do for now, until vaccination approval is given for children below 12 years [old], besides the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will be enforced by the Ministry of Education," he said.

Also present at the kick-off of the adolescent immunisation programme were Radzi and Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, who is also the programme coordinator.

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