The Health Ministry has granted conditional approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine to be used a booster shot for COVID-19.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement that the shot will be administered to those aged 18 and above, at least six months after the second dose.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is currently being used to innoculate teenagers aged 12 and above, is the first vaccine to be approved for booster shots in the country.

"This conditional approval means that the vaccine's efficacy, safety and quality will be monitored and assessed based on the latest data, from time to time.

"This is to ensure the benefit over risk comparison of the vaccine remains positive," Noor Hisham said.

Studies have shown that Pfizer has a 95 per cent efficacy rate against symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Two recent studies, however, showed that immune protection offered by two doses of the Pfizer vaccine drops off after two months, but the vaccine still offers protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus.

Until yesterday, more than 2.31 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the country, while 27,113 people have died from it.

The global COVID-19 infection and death tally has surpassed 237 million, and 4.84 million, respectively.

Photo source: Astro Awani