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However, venue owners can determine whether visitors are required to wear a face covering.

From September 7, 2022 (Wednesday), masks in most inland areas of Malaysia will no longer be mandatory.

Since May 1, 2022, the use of face masks is only mandatory indoors and on public transport, including e-Hailing services. After assessing the current COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of Health (Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia, or KKM) has determined that the use of face masks indoors will henceforth be optional.

However, venue owners can determine if visitors are required to wear face coverings, and the public is strongly encouraged to continue to do so. Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin said in a statement announcing updates.

It should be noted that the use of a face mask is still obligatory for the following situations:

  1. A person is positive for COVID-19 and needs to go to a COVID-19 Assessment Center (CAC) for a health assessment;
  2. On public transportation services such as buses, trains, taxis, including email services, planes and buses, employee vans and school vans, and
  3. In healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hemodialysis centers, etc.

The Ministry of Health has also strongly encourages the use of face masks in the following situations:

  1. In crowded areas such as night markets, stadiums, malls and places of worship;
  2. When people have symptoms such as fever, cough and cold;
  3. A high-risk person, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, people with low immunity, and pregnant women, and
  4. While participating in activities with high-risk people like the elderly and children.

Requirements for wearing face masks outdoors and in open areas will remain the same as previously announced – i.e., not mandatory.

However, the Department of Health encourages the use of face masks outdoors in the following situations:

  1. In crowded areas;
  2. When people have symptoms such as fever, cough and cold;
  3. A person at high risk and
  4. Doing activities with high-risk people like the elderly and children.

Latest Recommendations from the KKM Technical Working Group

The Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Ministry of Health also discussed the latest proposals or recommendations regarding the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, which involves the administration of a primary dose, a booster dose and a second booster dose.

Here are the latest recommendations that were decided by the TWG on September 3, 2022:

Recommendation No. 1: Second booster dose of mRNA vaccine for pregnant or breastfeeding women

Pregnant women are categorized as vulnerable due to the high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 infection. Additionally, COVID-19 infection can also increase the risk of complications, which in turn can affect pregnancy and the developing baby.

According to the statement, available data show that the mRNA vaccine effectively reduces the risk of serious COVID-19 infection during pregnancy. Antibodies produced after pregnant women took the vaccine were also detected in the baby and may help protect the baby against COVID-19 infection.

It was also claimed in the statement that existing data on vaccine safety show no increased risk of miscarriage, pregnancy complications and birth defects, nor any concerns about safety aspects for pregnant women receiving the vaccine. to mRNA.

Based on the available data, pregnant and breastfeeding women can receive the primary dose of vaccine or the booster dose of COVID-19. Women at risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 can also receive a second booster dose at any time during pregnancyin accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Recommendation #2: Booster dose for children 5 to 12 years old

Children aged 5 to less than 12 years old with comorbidities or who are immunocompromised (weakened immune system) are children at risk of serious COVID-19 infection. KKM noted that the administration of the first booster dose will increase the effectiveness of the vaccine against serious diseases caused by the Omicron variant and can be administered within six to nine months of receiving the last dose of vaccine.

Recommendation #3: Immunization of children aged six months to five years

The COVID-19 vaccine can be offered to children aged six months to five years, with comorbidities or immunocompromised. KKM has started the process of purchasing the COVID-19 vaccine with a special formulation for this group of children.

Recommendation #4: Heterologous vaccination for a second booster dose

Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the administration of a second booster dose to the following population groups:

  1. Individuals aged 50 and over
  2. Children 12 years and older are moderately or severely immunocompromised
  3. People aged 18 and over with comorbidities and at risk of serious illness
  4. Pregnant women or nursing mothers
  5. Health care workers

According to current TWG recommendations, heterologous vaccines with mRNA vaccines or viral vector vaccines for a second booster dose can be given to people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Heterologous vaccination for the second booster dose may be administered as follows, on the advice of medical personnel:

  1. An inactivated type vaccine for the initial dose can be considered to use a vector or mRNA vaccine for subsequent doses;
  2. A vector-type vaccine for the initial dose can also be considered using an mRNA vaccine for subsequent doses, and
  3. An mRNA vaccine for the initial dose can be considered for the use of a vector vaccine for subsequent doses.

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