According to Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, the Ministry of Health is looking into whether the time gap between administering the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine can be reduced from 12 weeks to six weeks.
The decision will depend on the situation of Covid-19 in Malaysia, whether the vaccine recipients need a quicker maximum effect of protection from the second dose or not.
“We still need to perform ongoing genome sequencing activities to detect if there are new, more violent variants of COVID-19 that would interfere with the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said in a press conference today, according to BERNAMA.
He said that the Special Committee of Covid-19 Vaccination (JKJAV) will make the decision soon. As of now, the time period between the administration of the first and second dose of AZ vaccine is 12 weeks (three months).
Due to the limited vaccine stock in the country, Dr Adham said that the government would not implement the first dose strategy (prioritize on giving out the first dose of vaccine to the people) for now.
Meanwhile, he also added that the government is implementing the ‘inject first, register later’ method for those who have difficulty accessing vaccination registration, especially those in rural areas.
According to him, through the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), the government will ensure that whatever vaccine used is safe, effective, and of high-quality.
As of yesterday (19 June 2021), the total cumulative vaccine doses administered in Malaysia increased to 5,675,002.