Updated COVID-19 Booster Dose Policy For Malaysia!

Malaysia COVID-19 Booster Dose Policy : 22 March Edition!

Here is our LATEST summary of the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose policy in Malaysia, as of 21 March 2022!

 

Malaysia Ramping Up COVID-19 Booster Dose Program!

Malaysia started the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose programme on 13 October 2021, targeting those who received the Pfizer vaccine more than 6 months ago.

It was then expanded to those who received the Sinovac vaccine more than 3 months ago, on 22 October 2021.

On 9 November 2021, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) announced that it would be made available to younger adults.

On 24 November 2021, KKM announced that it will be open to anyone above 18, including those who received AstraZeneca, Cansino, Sinopharm and Janssen vaccines.

On 16 December 2021, KKM made it mandatory for vulnerable individuals to receive the booster shot, to be considered as fully-vaccinated.

On 28 December 2021, KKM halved the booster dose interval for most COVID-19 vaccines!

On 21 March 2022, KKM added the CanSino booster dose to the PICK vaccination programme, and updated its booster dose recommendations.

 

Latest COVID-19 Booster Dose Policy In Malaysia Explained!

Here is our summary of Malaysia’s COVID-19 vaccine booster dose policy!

Why Should We Get It?

It is recommended that you get the booster dose to better protect against more contagious COVID-19 variants like the Delta variant, and the new Omicron variant.

The primary series of COVID-19 vaccines continues to protect you against hospitalisation and death. However, the Delta and Omicron variants are partially-resistant to the vaccines, and will cause more breakthrough infections.

While most of these breakthrough infections will be mild or moderate, it puts vulnerable people – the elderly and people with co-morbidities – at risk. That’s why they are being given the booster shot first, over everyone else.

In addition, protection from COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to wane over 2-6 months, so a booster dose is necessary to restore protection.

Read more : Sinovac Vaccine Efficacy Rapidly Drops After 2 Months!
Read more : Why The Delta Variant Causes MORE Breakthrough Infections!

What Vaccines Have Been Approved As Booster Dose?

The Malaysia Drug Control Authority (DCA) approved the Pfizer booster dose on 8 October 2021.

Only on 17 November 2021 did they also approve the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines as booster doses.

Then on 6 January 2022, they approved the CanSino vaccine as a booster dose.

How Soon Can You Get The Booster Dose?

You can now get your booster dose as early as THREE (3) months after completing your primary series for most vaccines, or TWO (2) months for the Janssen vaccine.

Here is a table I created to summarise the booster options and when you can get one :

Primary Series
Vaccine
Recommended
Booster
Timing After
Primary Series
Pfizer Pfizer or AstraZeneca After 3 months
AstraZeneca Pfizer or AstraZeneca
Sinovac Pfizer, AstraZeneca,
CanSino or Sinovac
Sinopharm Pfizer or AstraZeneca
Moderna Pfizer or AstraZeneca
CanSino Pfizer, AstraZeneca
or CanSino
Sputnik V Pfizer or AstraZeneca
Janssen Pfizer or AstraZeneca After 2 months

Pfizer Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Pfizer vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

AstraZeneca Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

Sinovac Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca / CanSino / Sinovac booster shot

If you are not comfortable with the Pfizer vaccine, please consider the AstraZeneca booster shot instead, because it is far superior to the Sinovac booster shot.

If you must have a Chinese vaccine, then consider the CanSino booster shot, which is superior to the Sinovac booster shot.

Read more : Can You And Should You Get A Sinovac Booster Dose?
Read more : Sinovac Vaccine Efficacy Rapidly Drops After 2 Months!

Sinopharm Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Sinopharm vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

Note : CITF-B originally allowed a third dose of Sinopharm as a booster shot, but it has NOT been approved by the NPRA, and is therefore not available at the moment.

Moderna Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Moderna vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

Sputnik V Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Sputnik V vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after Dose 2.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

CanSino Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the CanSino vaccine can receive their booster shot 3 months after vaccination.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca or CanSino booster shot

If you are not comfortable with the Pfizer vaccine, please consider the AstraZeneca booster shot, because it is superior to the CanSino booster shot.

Opt for the CanSino booster shot, if you must have a Chinese vaccine.

Janssen Recipients : What Vaccine Can You Use?

Those who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine can receive their booster shot 2 months after vaccination.

  • Recommended : Pfizer booster shot
  • Alternative : AstraZeneca booster shot

Who Can Receive It?

On 24 November 2021, the Ministry of Health announced that the COVID-19 booster doses will be available to all individuals 18 years and above.

However, the appointments will be prioritised using the age step down approach, with priority for frontliners, individuals with co-morbidities, pregnant mothers, and those who have to travel overseas.

Is COVID-19 Booster Dose Mandatory?

Like the COVID-19 vaccine, the booster shot is NOT mandatory.

Is It Necessary To Be Fully-Vaccinated?

Yes, for certain vulnerable groups.

On 16 December 2021, the Ministry of Health (KKM) announced that these individuals MUST receive a booster shot by end of February 2022, to be considered as fully-vaccinated.

On 7 February 2022, this was extended to end of March 2022.

  • Individuals who received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, and
  • Individuals 60 years and older who completed other COVID-19 vaccines,

Those who do not meet these requirements by end of March 2022 will lose their “fully-vaccinated” status in MySejahtera.

They will only regain their fully-vaccinated status once they receive the booster dose.

Read more : Booster Deadline for Seniors + Sinovac Recipients Extended!

Is It A Good Idea To Mix COVID-19 Vaccines?

Yes, studies have shown that it is not only safe to mix COVID-19 vaccines, such heterologous vaccinations will greatly increase your protection against the coronavirus.

Many countries are now giving heterologous booster shots, and the JKJAV expert committee has also recommended to proceed with heterologous vaccinations.

Heterologous vaccination is like learning different martial arts. By learning different ways to handle the coronavirus, your immune system is better able to beat COVID-19.

The Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was vaccinated with two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, also received a Pfizer heterologous booster shot :

Do We Need To Pay?

Like the COVID-19 vaccine, the booster shot is provided for FREE under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).

How To Apply For COVID-19 Booster Dose?

You do NOT need to apply for the COVID-19 booster dose.

Once you are eligible, you will be given an appointment notification in MySejahtera to go to a GP / government clinic or hospital for your booster dose.

If you do not have MySejahtera, you will be informed by SMS. So please keep an eye out for your appointment!

You can also put yourself on the COVID-19 vaccine standby list at nearby clinics.

Read more : How To Register For The COVID-19 Vaccine Standby List?

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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