#DidYouKnow

What’s a COVID-19 Booster Shot, and do I need it?

“Aduhmakkk, kena tambah lagi satu jab pulak dah”! Eh don’t worry worry geng, Booster Shot ni elok tau untuk kita!

Hari tu, masa Amal scrolling on Twitter, Amal noticed there’s a lot of talk about the COVID-19 booster shot. Rupa-rupanya, in October, the Minister of Health has called on the people of Malaysia to take booster shots. So apa Booster Shot tu actually? Here are 6 pointers!

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Amal pun ragu-ragu at first but reading from reliable sources banyak tolong Amal to understand it better. It’s only human nature to fear what we don’t understand, kan? Ramai je lagi yang still unsure about the Booster Shot so let’s check out apa yang Amal dah baca. Together-gether let’s understand why the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters tu penting!😉

So, apa beza Booster Shot ngan third dose? And kenapa pentingnya Booster Shot for orang yang dah fully vaccinated eh? Kalau vaksin tu betul2 berkesan, kita don’t need the Booster Shot la kan. Jom baca sampai habis to know everything about the Booster Shot!

Booster Shot and Third Dose, sama ke?

Purpose dia macam sama tapi bukan, don’t get them mixed up oke!

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Macam ni lah, babe. Booster Shot ni senang kata is given after the protection from the first two vaccine doses have begun to decrease over time.  The booster is designed to help people maintain the level of immunity against COVID-19 for longer.

Whereas third dose pulak is for people yang immunocompromised. Amal terpikir jugak, “immunocompromised tu pebenda pulak?”. Immunocompromised ni maksudnya, people whose immune systems do not respond that well or are unlikely to have responded well to the first two doses. That’s why the third dose is very important for them to boost their antibody levels and provide additional protections. People who fall into this category contohnya are those who had organ transplants, just completed cancer treatment and the elderly.

In short, Booster Shot is to kuatkan lagi the immunity. Whereas the third dose is to ensure people with lower immune defenses will get the proper protection like everyone else!

Why are Booster Shots important?

It’s like an annual check-up, kita kena constantly stay on top of it in order for it to remain effective. Vaksin COVID-19 ni pun lebih kurang gitew ah! Remember, we’re talking about fighting against a virus that is super contagious and deadly in some cases!

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Walapun COVID-19 vaccination remains effective in preventing severe disease, Amal belajar that the levels of neutralising antibodies against COVID-19 wane in the months after vaccination. We must remember yang vaccination becomes less effective over time, especially in people aged 65 and older.

Just like its name, the Booster Shot helps to ‘boost’ our immune system to combat a number of circumstances. First, if Amal’s Atok Wan who has cancer didn’t respond adequately to the original vaccination series yang  he received. This makes him fall into a category of people who are immunocompromised. Second, if the immunity yang Amal has achieved starts to weaken over time. And third, if the performance of the first two doses are inadequate against the newer variants of concern that have emerged. Jangan lupa Delta, sekarang Omicron.

Because of these possibilities, Amal believes that it’s SUPER important for everyone to get the Booster Shot if you’re eligible! Newer COVID-19 variants are highly unpredictable. So unless you’re Marty from Back to The Future, best to be prepared, babes. Ingat tau, getting the Booster Shot is the safest thing you can place your bet on!

Do boosters mean the vaccines are not working?

Eleh, kalau vaksin tu betul2 berkesan, nape Amal kena cucuk lagi?”

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Amal belajar through my research the vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. But just like some other vaccines like the flu jab their effectiveness decreases over time.

Amal rasa lah, we need to look at the big picture. The vaccines are definitely working! We have seen an incredible change ever since the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme was initiated in February 2021. If tak caya, cuba compare the peak daily cases and population of vaccinated people in Malaysia between August and November. Jauh kan beza tuuu!

Month Vaccinated Population Peak Number of Cases
August 2021 13,136,761 / 40% 22,642
November 2021 25,049,738 / 76.7% 4,626

Amal asyik ingatkan kawan-kawan Amal, the point of getting vaccinated is to KURANGKAN the risk of transmission, hospitalization and deaths. The vaccines are effective at protecting people from COVID-19. Tapi jangan lupa, if korang tak vaccinated, the chances of contracting the virus memang confirm lah lagi tinggi and the complications will definitely be even worse. So please, please get vaccinated if you haven’t!

READ: 6 Mitos Pasal Vaksin COVID-19… Debunked!

Booster ada side effects ke?

Taknak la Booster Shot, takut side effects dia teruk la.

Like the earlier doses,  you might experience some temporary symptoms macam sore, swollen arm where you got the booster shot. You might run a fever and experience body aches, headaches and tiredness for a day or two. Chills, swollen lymph nodes can also occur.

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Tapi jangan risau geng, these symptoms do not mean you are sick. It means that your immune system tengah responding to the vaccine and building up protection against the coronavirus.

Who’s eligible for the Booster Shots?

On 13 October 2021, Amal dengar yang Ministry of Health has begun distributing the Booster Shot nationwide. Akak abang frontliners (health and security), pakcik makcik aged 60 and over and individuals yang ada penyakit2 lain are prioritised to receive the Booster Shots.

And on 24 November, Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin announced that everyone above 18 is eligible for the booster shots. To get the booster, you need to have completed at least 6 months (Pfizer or Astra Zeneca) or 3 months (Sinovac) of your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Untuk vaccine di Malaysia, maksudnya dah habis dos kedua lah.

As of 30 November 2021, a total of 2,332,750 orang have received the Booster Shots. So Amal rasa confident la bila my time for booster sampai!

Where and how can I get the Booster Shot?

You may receive an appointment date from the MySejahtera app or a text message from MKN seperti abah Amal. Or you can also now Cari Pusat Pemberian Vaksin (PPV) near you at the VaksinCovid ProtectHealth website.

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If you guys are now eligible for the Booster Shot macam Amal (dah nak sampai 6 bulan since my 2nd dose), you can start registering to walk in for your COVID-19 booster vaccine jab at a PPV near your residence. All you have to do is first, cari a PPV near you on ProtectHealth. Then, register yourself via walk-in to the PPV, a phone call, or email to the PPV. Jangan lupa to provide your name, MyKad/passport, contact details, date of the second dose and vaccine type okey? After siap tu, just wait for the PPV to contact you balik. Senang kacang jer kan?

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Generally speaking, Amal percaya yang Booster Shot ni elok la untuk kita semua. The more you know kan, hehe. So benda baik jangan ditangguh. If your Mak Abah, Kakak Abang and Atuk Nenek are eligible for the Booster Shot, remind them to go and get it now tau!

Share this around so that everyone can learn more about the Booster Shot ya! Bersama-sama jadi VaksinNation!

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Amal

Champion for vaccination! Two-wheels, a big heart and not enough books.
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