Everyone aged 18 and above can now register for COVID-19 booster shots.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this last night after the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force Booster (CITF-B) agreed to open the registrations for all.

Previously, priority for booster shots were given to individuals in six categories, namely healthcare, security and defence frontliners; individuals aged 18 and above with comorbidities; individuals aged 40 and above; long-term healthcare centre workers and residents; pregnant mothers; and, those who need to travel overseas.

According to Khairy, everyone aged above 18, who have completed their two primary vaccine shots, be it from Astra Zeneca (AZ), Pfizer, or Sinovac, can now register to get their booster dose.

The booster schedule, however, differs for individuals who have taken vaccines of different types for their primary series.

Sinovac recipients are recommended to get their booster shot three months after completing the two doses, with Pfizer as the booster. They can also opt to have Sinovac administered as the booster dose if they fear the mix-and-match approach.

AZ recipients have to wait for six months after their second dose to get their booster shot, with either Pfizer or AZ as the booster dose.

Recipients inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine can get their booster shot six months after the second dose, while those who received shots of vaccines from other brands (CanSino, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna) can opt to have their booster shot after the stipulated window period.

The AZ vaccine is only recommended as booster vaccine for individuals aged above 50, except for those who already have had the same brand as their primary doses.

Experts have advocated getting a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine as the effects of the first two doses of the vaccine decrease a few months after the second dose.

If you are interested to register for your booster dose, you can do so via the MySejahtera application, as well as the Protect Health website at https://protecthealth.com.my.

Source: NST
Photo source: Astro Awani