The Ministry of Health is considering purchasing a variant-specific COVID-19 vaccine that is capable of fighting the Omicron variant.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said however the ministry has yet to decide on the immunisation programme that will be implemented if it offers the vaccine.
“We will decide based on the current epidemiological trend of infection. We have yet to decide whether to offer the vaccine to everyone or only to those who are at high risk.
“Now we are looking at a more targeted vaccination programme,” he said at a press conference after officiating the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) and Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries (MOPI) 2022 Conference here today.
Last month Britain approved a variant-specific COVID-19 vaccine produced by the United States pharmaceutical company, Moderna, as a booster for adults.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the MOH’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on Aug 3 recommended the administration of a second booster dose of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine for pregnant or breastfeeding women, in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation.
Khairy said the TWG also recommended giving the first vaccine booster to children aged five to under 12; COVID-19 vaccination for children aged between six months and five years and heterologous vaccination for the second booster dose, adding that a heterologous vaccine with mRNA vaccine or viral vector vaccine for the second booster dose can be administered to individuals who are at high risk of developing serious illnesses due to COVID-19. – Bernama