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Beginning in September, the Selangor government will provide free saliva-based Covid-19 self-test kits to families with positive cases.
Eligible families will be identified by their local District Health Office. They will not need to apply.
In an online press conference today, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the state will provide 60,000 kits to all 56 constituencies in Selangor.
“It is free for the residents of Selangor. And of course, we will target positive (patients') families.
“When a case tests positive at the District Health Office or Selcare clinic, everything will be channelled to one database under the Selangor State Health Department.
“From there, we will give the free test kits to the family. Hopefully, the family (members) can (test themselves) quite frequently and identify their status,” Amirudin explained.
“With a test kit, we can protect other family members - perhaps those aged 17 or 16 - who have yet to be vaccinated,” he said.
More details will be announced before the kits are distributed in September, Amirudin added.
Enough stock for booster shot sales
The menteri besar also disclosed that the state government's own Covid-19 vaccination programme Selvax is prepared with enough excess vaccines to be sold as booster shots.
This was pending approval from the Health Ministry and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
The authorities have yet to allow booster vaccine shots.
“We believe we can proceed with selling the third dose once it is allowed. We will proceed after a majority or at least 80 percent of Selangor people have been given (two doses) of the vaccine,” Amirudin said.
“We are waiting for the policy, statement and regulation set by the NPRA and ministry, of course...
“We are very confident. At least, we are ready and (have) reserved vaccines for Selangorians who need it in the future,” he added.
Amirudin shared that Selvax also had enough supply for youths who will be turning 18 years old next year.
For the record, a technical committee under the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) was slated to make recommendations regarding booster shots at a meeting last Friday, but no announcement has been made regarding the outcome of the meeting.
As for vaccinating adolescents, the Drug Control Authority has already approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 12 years and above, but the JKJAV decided only adolescents with underlying health issues should get the vaccine due to a rare side-effect of the vaccine.
However, paediatric specialist Dr Musa Mohd Nordin pointed out that the risk of heart inflammations due to Covid-19 is far higher than those linked to the vaccine, and has urged the government to vaccinate adolescents.