With discussion still ongoing among experts on the need for a booster shot and Sinovac already declaring that a third jab is necessary for its vaccine, Malaysia will most likely discuss the policy in October during Budget 2022.
The country has already spent RM3.5 billion procuring vaccines for 120% of population under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme from Astra Zeneca, Pfizer BioNTech and Sinovac for 2 doses, however with rising proof that a third booster will be necessary, nations are rushing to procure additional doses from major pharmaceutical companies.
Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin added that for the procurement of the third dose the policy will be brought to attention during the 2022 Budget end October by the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul.
However, he did claim that he is confident that the additional vaccines for most of Malaysians will be free, through the vaccination program which will continue to be implemented.
A couple of matters will be discussed before deciding on the budget allocation, including on the amount of dose requirements based which will be based on experiences in other countries and also whether we will give heterologous vaccination meaning to administer a different type of vaccine from the one received earlier.
Heterologous vaccination has been adopted in several countries such as Germany and South Korea due to disruption in supply of vaccines.
Malaysia will take a wait see approach, and determine only after expert recommendations based on clinical data are gathered from around the world on the administration of the doses.