Govt to roll out heterologous Pfizer booster shots tomorrow
Published:  Oct 21, 2021 10:47 AM
Updated: Nov 24, 2021 11:40 PM

Individuals fully vaccinated using the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at least three months ago will soon be eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot.

This exercise of administering heterologous booster shots - meaning the booster vaccine used is different from the first vaccine - will be done in an off-label and voluntary manner. It will also be part of a government study.

Off-label is when a drug is used in a way other than officially approved for.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced this in a press conference this evening.

“The Health Ministry has decided to extend the booster dose to individuals who have received complete Sinovac doses at least three months ago, whereby they will be given a Comirnaty booster dose in a heterologous manner,” he said.

Comirnaty is the name of the Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Elderly first

Khairy noted that these heterologous booster shots will be rolled out in phases nationwide.

The first phase will begin tomorrow (Oct 22) and prioritise those 60 years old and above who were fully vaccinated using Sinovac at least three months ago.

He said eligible participants will be informed via MySejahtera or text message.

He also said the ministry will soon launch an appointment-booking system for booster shots.

These shots will be administered by private healthcare providers and managed by ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd.

“Administering heterologous booster doses is an off-label use and will be used as a subgroup study in The Real World Evaluation of Covid-19 Vaccination (RECoVaM) and a study of the adverse serious effects after vaccination (SafeCovac) for all booster dose recipients.

“Booster doses will be administered in a voluntary and free manner under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“The objective of administering booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is to ensure optimum protection period is obtained by all Covid-19 vaccine recipients,” he explained.

RECoVaM is a study by the ministry’s Institute for Clinical Research at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

SafeCovac is also a study by the NIH.

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