Recipients of the Sinovac vaccination primer doses can now pick the same brand for their booster shots, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Speaking during a press conference here today, he said the decision was due to the reluctance of Sinovac vaccine recipients to take different booster doses such as Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca.
"Although MOH (Health Ministry) still believes in encouraging them to take Pfizer or AstraZeneca booster doses, taking any booster is better than no booster,” he said.
According to Khairy, there are 3.5 million recipients of the Sinovac primer doses who have yet to receive their booster shots, and the MOH will be issuing appointments for them.
He said the colour of the vaccination certificate for Sinovac recipients in the MySejahtera application would also change to white if they had not taken the booster dose before March.
"If they do not get the booster dose in February, their yellow-coloured vaccination certificate will change to white beginning March 1, 2022," he said.
He said in total, the NPRA AEFI Reporting System had received 24,788 AEFI reports including 1,004 reports involving COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as of Jan 31.
“The AEFI reporting rate for booster doses was 84 for every one million doses compared to the overall (primer and booster doses) AEFI reporting rate of 390 per million doses.
“Reports of AEFI for the booster dose is much lower in proportion than for the primer doses. This I have to raise, because currently there are many allegations of the booster dose causing serious adverse effects," he said.
He said of the total AEFI reports for booster doses, 64 reports were classified as serious, which is equivalent to the rate of five reports per one million doses.
He said the number was much lower than the serious AEFI reports received overall including the first and second doses, which was 27 reports per one million doses.
“The majority of AEFI reported are mild and will usually recover within a few days,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the reported rate of ISRR (Immunisation stress-related reaction) for the booster dose was eight times lower compared to the first dose and three times lower compared to the second dose.
Khairy said the adverse effect monitoring reports in other reference countries such as the United States and Australia showed similar findings to Malaysia, namely that there was no change in the trend of adverse effects reported during the administration of booster doses compared to the primer doses.
Moreover, he said AEFI reports involving children to date was zero out of nearly 18,000 doses of vaccines given.
On AEFI reported from over 5.6 million doses of vaccines administered on teenagers aged 12 to 17, he said there were 74 serious cases, which is equivalent to 0.013 per thousand doses, and most of the cases had recovered. - Bernama