Covid-19: Extension of booster dose deadline not due to Johor polls, says Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent extension of the booster shot deadline for all Sinovac recipients and senior citizens to March 31 is not linked to the Johor polls, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).

He said that it is to give a bit more time for people to complete their booster dose.

“There were a lot of requests for an extension of time,” said the Health Minister in a reply to a supplementary question raised by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (March 2).

Khairy noted that no further extension will be given after March 31.

“This is the last and final extension. Those who fail to get their booster by then will see their vaccination status in their MySejahtera becoming incomplete,” he added.

The Johor state polls will be held on March 12.

To a question by Oscar Ling Chai Yew (PH-Sibu), Khairy said that Sarawak has the highest rate of vaccination involving children.

“Some 57% of children in Sarawak have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.

Khairy added that he will also propose to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, that more vaccination administering centres (PPV) should be opened in Sarawak.

Dr Noor Azmi is in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids).

Ling had raised the issue of a lack of PPV for children in his constituency, saying that there are worries that young unvaccinated children may bring the virus home to their families once school resumes after the three-week school break ends later this month.

Earlier, Khairy informed the House that the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in a South African student who entered the country on Dec 12 last year.

“The variant spread rapidly and by January it had spread through the entire country.

“The trend saw daily new cases reaching 10,000 cases by Feb 6 and reached 32,070 cases by Feb 24, which is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic,” he added.

However, Khairy noted that some 99% of Omicron cases were those in Category 1 and 2.

Category 1 and 2 are cases of those who are asymptomatic or have light symptoms.