new record Covid-19 booster dose daily cases
Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah

By Manzaidi Mohd Amin

KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministry of Health (MOH) recommended all eligible individuals to take their booster dose to avoid Covid-19 cases from increasing again.

Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the booster dose administration has begun since 13 October.

As of yesterday, 10,235,759 or 43.7 percent of the country’s population above the age of 18 have received their booster dose.

“Among the benefits of receiving booster dose are to avoid the increment of cases again and hospital admission that can cause a burden on the national healthcare system.

“It also protects the people from the threats of new variants including the Delta and Omicron variants. The booster shot can increase the immunity level against the Omicron variant of up to 70 percent compared to those who did not receive their booster dose,” he said in a statement.

According to him, as the risk of Covid-19 infection can be reduced with the booster dose, the MOH also recommends a revision on quarantine period for travellers from overseas.

Based on the risk assessment, quarantine period for travellers who had their booster dose has been reduced from seven days to five days.

“Priority of the booster dose is given to high-risk groups and frontliners, people with disabilities and individuals with comorbidity.

“As of yesterday, the percentage of booster dose coverage among them is low,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said, it is common for vaccine recipients to experience a waning immunity after a certain period. This happens to the Covid-19 vaccine too.

Based on the findings by the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) in Malaysia, individuals who have been administered complete doses of vaccine would experience 20 percent of immunity, meanwhile, 40 percent of waning immunity has been reported in the recipients of Sinovac three to five months after their second dose.

Based on the various research from Israel, United Kingdom and Chile, a drop of neutralizing antibody against the Covid-19 happened after three to six months of receiving the complete primer doses.

“This causes an increment in Covid-19 risk, especially in the high-risk group,” he said.

Therefore, the Covid-19 booster dose needs to be given after a certain period to ensure an optimum level of immunity is maintained. -MalaysiaGazette