Senior citizens can apply for AstraZeneca vaccination from May 23-26

A Bernama journalist in a joint conference over Zoom with Khairy Jamaluddin and Dr Adham Baba on developments on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. Photo: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The second phase of applications for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be open exclusively for senior citizens aged 60 and above from May 23 to May 26, said National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said booking for vaccination slots can be made via the website and through community outreach at the district health office level.

“After May 26, applications will be open to those under the age of 60,” he said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on developments on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which was done virtually from here today.

On May 2, the government opened registration for the AstraZeneca vaccine voluntarily and openly for eligible individuals 18 years old and above and the vaccination process began on May 5.

Khairy, who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, said the second phase of the AstraZeneca vaccination is also being extended to other states apart from the Klang Valley, namely Johor, Sarawak and Penang, which are currently recording high Covid-19 figures.

The second phase of the vaccination will also prioritise individuals who are on the first round waiting list.

Malaysia is scheduled to receive 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of this month through procurement from the Covax facility.

Khairy said Sarawak, which had previously been reported would not use the AstraZeneca vaccine, had agreed to use it and would liaise with the State Health Department on the method of vaccination implementation in the state.

He also said that online application would be open next week to the public such as students going overseas to shorten the time frame encompassing taking two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to him, Malaysia is setting the interval between the two doses at 12 weeks in line with the approval of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and the practices of other countries like Australia, The Netherlands, Finland and Portugal.

The recommendation of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) group of experts is from eight to 12 weeks.

On reports about Indonesia stopping the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine following a death, Khairy said the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) had found no serious side effects in Malaysia since it was first used and that Malaysia would continue to administer the vaccine.

International media reported that Indonesia stopped using the CTMAV547 batch of AstraZeneca vaccine following the death of an individual a day after vaccination. – Bernama