by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by AFP
THE government will open applications for the second round of AstraZeneca vaccine slots from May 23 until May 26, with priority given to senior citizens aged 60 and above.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the second round of the vaccine would also be extended to three states currently under the Covid-19 red zone, namely Sarawak, Penang and Johor.
Khairy, who is also the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) said the expansion to these states was important in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, thus reducing the pressure on the healthcare system.
“High-risk groups such as those above the age of 60 will be given early access for the AstraZeneca vaccine registration in the second round.
“Doses that are not taken up by this group after May 26 will then be opened to those below 60,” he said in his weekly press conference on the development of PICK today.
He added that his ministry will also conduct community outreach programmes through district health offices apart from online registration to ramp up vaccine registration.
On that note, Khairy said pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are advised to get the Pfizer vaccine, as the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines are curently not recommended for them.
The minister noted that those who were unsure about the Covid-19 vaccine should consult their doctors before registering.
Khairy held his weekly press conference today from home due to the need to undergo mandatory quarantine after being in close contact with a Covid-19 positive case.
The minister, who held a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, said he would undergo quarantine starting today while waiting for the results of his screening test.
“I have been in close contact with a Covid-19 positive case and I am waiting for the results of the screening test which is expected to be known today,” he said.
Dr Adham said he would also have to undergo quarantine if Khairy’s result came out positive for Covid-19 because he was also in close contact with the coordinating minister.