Did Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recommend AGAINST healthy people getting the COVID-19 booster shot?
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Health Minister KJ Recommends AGAINST Booster Shot!
People are sharing a Malaysia Gazette video showing Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin saying that health people should not get the COVID-19 booster shot.
It’s often shared with this warning – Khairy said the booster is NOT recommended for healthy people!!
Here is my translated transcript for context :
Oh, there has not been any decision yet. But looking at the first person to get the vaccine – the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia, I have to ask Tan Sri Muhyiddin if he wants to get the booster (dose).
I took Sinovac quite late, so I don’t need the booster yet. But this is a serious answer – the booster is only offered to people who should have it.
I’m young, I do not have co-morbidities at the moment, so I should not be taking a booster because I would be taking a vaccine from somebody else.
So the booster dose should be given to people who, according to experts, can be given the booster – people who are 60 years and older, those with co-morbidities, those who are immunocompromised. The boosters are for those people, not healthy people right now.
We are not recommending boosters for healthy people right now. It’s just for certain groups that we are giving the booster dose.
Truth : Health Minister KJ Booster Shot Video Taken Out Of Context
This is yet another example of anti-vaccination fake news created by misrepresenting statements from the past.
Fact #1 : This Video Was From 20 September 2021
First, I need to point out that this video was taken at a press conference on 20 September 2021 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport – more than 4 months ago!
It was FALSELY shared as a new video, to trick people into believing that the Health Minister was telling people not to take the booster dose.
The fake news creator used this old video to intentionally mislead you.
Fact #2 : Booster Doses Limited To High-Risk Groups At That Time
Just a day prior to the video – Prime Minister Ismail Sabri, announced that Malaysia will start administering the COVID-19 booster dose, after the nationwide vaccination rate exceeds 80% of the adult population.
At that time, vaccine supply was still limited, and studies show that fully-vaccinated people still had good protection against COVID-19.
Hence, the priority was to give at least 80% of the adult population the chance the get the primary series of the vaccine first. Then, the booster dose would be given to a priority group who are most at risk :
- individuals 60 years and older
- individuals with co-morbidities
- immunocompromised individuals
This was the same order of priority that was adopted when Malaysia started the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Read more : COVID-19 Booster Dose Policy For Malaysia
Fact #3 : Khairy Jamaluddin Received His Booster Dose On 29 October 2021
Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin received his COVID-19 booster dose on 29 October 2021.
He received a Pfizer booster dose, to complement his two Sinovac vaccine doses taken earlier, to demonstrate that heterologous vaccination (mixing of vaccines) is safe and effective.
So the claim that he rejected the booster dose is utter nonsense.
Fact #4 : Booster Shot Recommended For All Adults
After the a month and half of giving the booster shot to the priority group, the government recommended the booster dose for all individuals 40 years and older on 9 November 2021.
That was then expanded to all individuals 18 years and older on 24 November 2021 – the same day South Africa reported the discovery of the Omicron variant to the WHO.
Since then, the Malaysia Health Ministry (KKM) and Khairy Jamaluddin have been actively encouraging people to get the COVID-19 booster dose.
Fact #5 : Booster Shot Helps Protect Against Variants
KKM has strongly recommended the booster shot, to protect against the Delta and Omicron variants, after the recent RECoVaM study showed the waning protection of COVID-19 vaccines.
They were also concerned about the latest data on the Omicron variant, which showed greater transmissibility, higher viral binding affinity and higher antibody escape.
Evidence showed that a booster shot can increase protection against the Omicron variant. And early research involving 21 million booster doses in the UK showed that they are safe.
In line with those results, regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia as well as panels of health experts now recommend that the booster dose vaccination should be given as early as three (3) months after completing the primary vaccine.
Read more : Pfizer vs. Sinovac : Which Is Better Against Omicron Variant?
Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends.
Antivaxxers do NOT care about your lives. Ignore them, and protect yourself and your family against COVID-19!
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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.
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