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People receive their Covid-19 booster injections at UEM Learning Center in Petaling Jaya on November 24, 2021. – Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, January 1 – The Ministry of Health was investigating the need for a second booster dose following the increased prevalence of the highly infectious variant of Covid-19 Omicron around the world, Khairy Jamaluddin said.

The Minister of Health said this when asked if his ministry was aware of a foreign study which found that two doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine followed by a Pfizer-BioNTech booster still produced a weaker immune response against Omicron variant compared to other variants.

He was also asked if Sinovac vaccine recipients who received the Pfizer booster in Malaysia might need a fourth dose in the future.

“We got the news (about the study). The tech team is reviewing the research and will make recommendations to CITF as usual on whether those who have received Sinovac (doses) and a Pfizer (booster) should receive another dose, ”he said. at a press conference earlier today.

Khairy said his ministry’s technical team will make recommendations to the Covid-19 Vaccination Task Force (CITF) after completing a few studies, adding that it was still too early to draw definitive conclusions from the ‘study.

As a result, a report cited by Reuters yesterday said that the two-dose regimen of Sinovac along with the Pfizer vaccine produced an antibody response similar to a two-dose mRNA vaccine.

The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, was conducted by researchers from Yale University, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health and other institutions.

“The two-dose Sinovac vaccine alone showed no detectable neutralization against Omicron, according to the study that analyzed plasma samples from 101 participants in the Dominican Republic,” the study said.

One of the study’s authors, Akiko Iwasaki, said on Twitter that recipients of CoronaVac (Sinovac) may need two more booster doses to achieve the necessary levels of protection against Omicron.