PETALING JAYA: Certain teenagers will be allowed to get their Covid-19 vaccines by the middle of September, according to a letter signed by health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The circular, directed to state health directors and hospital directors, said all teens aged 16 and 17 with or without health issues will be allowed to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, those aged 12 to 15 are eligible to get immunised if they have certain health issues.
“With that said, its implementation depends on the supply of vaccines available,” Noor Hisham said in the letter.
Noor Hisham said vaccinations for this group will be given at designated centres (PPVs) as well as through outreach programmes such as in schools.
Pre-vaccination assessments will be conducted based on the recipient’s health status, medical history, allergy history and any treatment or medicine being taken.
These are only for recipients who have an allergy history, are immuno-compromised due to any sickness or ongoing treatment, taking anticoagulant medicine or if they have a bleeding diathesis, a tendency to bruise or bleed easily.
He said the assessments are meant to determine whether an individual can be given the vaccine, the suitability of the type of vaccine, as well as the right time and location to be vaccinated.
Based on the pre-vaccination assessments, officers will decide if recipients may take the vaccine at any time or at a later date, or if they cannot be given the jab at all.
If given the green light by the assessing medical officer, they will only be vaccinated at a designated PPV in a hospital or medical centre.
“The instructions in this circular come into effect from Sept 15, 2021,” he said.
Vaccine minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed that the vaccination programme will be expanded to these age groups, with an announcement by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) expected next week.
“An announcement will be made next week by the JKJAV on how Covid-19 vaccinations for adolescents will be implemented as per Noor Hisham’s circular and the latest updated clinical guidelines,” he said in a Twitter post.
Putrajaya had been urged by certain quarters to start vaccinating those aged 12 to 17, with Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii describing recent Covid-19 cases among children as “alarming”.
Yii said that according to reports, 82,341 children had been infected with Covid-19 from Jan 25, 2020, to May 30 this year, with the “vast majority” of cases happening in 2021.
So far, the Drug Control Authority, an agency under the health ministry, has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 and above.
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