HEALTH Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is contemplating issuing fresh directives for COVID-19 booster shots, particularly targeting those more vulnerable to complications from the virus.
Dr Dzulkefly expressed concern over the current uptake rate, revealing that 54% of individuals have received the second booster, while the rate for the third booster remains notably low.
“Perhaps in a little while, the ministry may issue some directives for boosters, especially for those in the vulnerable groups,” he stated during a press briefing following the Health Ministry’s (MOH) monthly assembly.
The announcement comes in light of a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases, which surged by 88% to 12,757 in the past week, compared to 6,796 in the preceding week.
Despite the rise, Dr Dzulkefly assured the public that there is an ample stock of vaccines available, emphasising their effectiveness against new COVID-19 variants.
“The vaccines are not expired and the ones we have can still protect the people from any new COVID-19 variants out there.”
Moreover, the Kuala Selangor MP also urged citizens to adhere to safety measures, including wearing face masks in crowded areas and undergoing a five-day quarantine if testing positive for COVID-19.
As the holiday season approaches, he noted the importance of following standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as maintaining good hygiene practices and wearing masks when unwell.
“Many will be out and about for holidays but don’t use that as an excuse to ignore the basic SOPs,” he said.
In a recent COVID-19 update, Health Director-General Dr Radzi Abu Hassan reported that the majority of the 12,757 cases exhibited mild symptoms and did not necessitate hospitalisation.
While acknowledging the global year-end trend of rising cases, Dr Radzi assured that Malaysia’s situation is under control, with healthcare facilities operating within their capacities.
Anticipating a potential post-holiday surge, he underscored the need for continued vigilance during the Christmas and New Year celebrations and upcoming school holidays starting on Saturday (Dec 16). – Dec 14, 2023