Soon, you may not be considered fully vaccinated unless you have taken a COVID-19 booster shot.

This is one of the possibilities the Health Ministry is looking at to improve the country's booster shot uptake rates, amid the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this in a special interview with the New Straits Times (NST) Press yesterday.

"I cannot discount any possibility. I need to leave every eventuality on the table.

"The first way (to improve booster shots uptake rates) is to persuade, encourage and plead. This is the approach we are taking for now," he said.

"Second, we can make booster shots a condition, meaning that you would not be considered fully vaccinated unless you get a booster dose. That's Plan B," he added.

Earlier this month, Khairy had announced that about 40 per cent of people who received their booster shot appointments, had failed to show up.

As the immunity against COVID-19 wanes over time, getting a booster shot will help prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country, he had noted.

The minister pointed out that the booster dose is very important, especially for the immunocompromised, such as the elderly, and those with comorbidities.

Khairy warned the people against becoming complacent about the COVID-19 procedures in place, as their mobility has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

This has led to a rise in the hospital bed utilisation rate nationwide, and eventually, lead to a fourth wave of infections, he noted.

Khairy further said that the government has no plans to relax current standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as wearing face masks, as some European countries like Germany and Austria are currently experiencing a resurgence in cases after relaxing public health measures.

Yesterday, 4,885 new COVID-19 infections were recorded, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2.59 million.

A total of 30,063 people have died from COVID-19 in the country.

Source: NST
Photo source: Astro Awani