The Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) meeting will present guidelines on the distribution process of the third dose and the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine next week.
Currently, a panel of medical and health experts is developing guidelines for the implementation of the distribution.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said the matter needed to be refined due to there being a difference between the third dose and the booster dose.
“If the immune response to the first two doses is insufficient, individuals need a third dose to obtain an optimal response.
“The priority for this third dose is given to high-risk groups such as healthcare frontliners, immunodeficient patients and elderly with comorbidities,” he explained during a press conference today (September 24).
On the other hand, the booster dose is for those who have completed two doses but their immune response has begun to decline after a few months.
“Booster doses will be given as an additional stimulant to the immune system so that it is stronger against the COVID-19 virus.
“We will first prioritise the distribution of the third dose, followed by the booster dose, starting next month once we obtain the approval of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA),” said Khairy Jamaluddin.
Previously, the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government had agreed to provide a third dose of vaccine as a measure to increase public protection.
He said priority would be given to high-risk groups, namely healthcare frontliners, immunodeficient patients, elderly with comorbidities and individuals who work or live in long-term care centers.
According to Ismail Sabri, the third dose will be rolled out after the immunisation coverage of the adult population nationwide exceeds 80 percent.