Health ministry hopes to vaccinate children next year

Health ministry hopes to vaccinate children next year

The health ministry hopes to vaccinate children under the age of 12 in 2022.

Officiating the Malaysian Medical Association’s (MMA) “Malaysia Doctors’ Day Celebration”, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said, hopefully, children can be vaccinated sometime next year, and “we can give them that shield against Covid-19”.

He had earlier said the ministry was in discussion with a vaccine producer to acquire vaccines safe to administer to children, without naming the company in question.

At the time, Khairy said the company was expected to submit the clinical data to be assessed by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) sometime this month.

He reminded people to be vigilant despite 90% of the adult population being vaccinated, pointing to surges in cases in other countries with strong vaccination rates.

“We can deal with a surge if it happens, but we don’t want to have to deal with one.

“If you really, really value and appreciate what the frontliners have been doing for the last one and a half years, you will be more responsible.

“You will be self-aware, you will take care of your health and health status to ensure a surge doesn’t happen.

“It is all well and good saying ‘Thank you, frontliners’, but if you don’t adhere to the SOPs, and if you engage in high-risk behaviour, then your words of appreciation to these frontliners are merely lip service. Now it’s up to you.”

On the reopening of state borders, he shared his concerns that it could lead to another surge in cases if people are not vigilant about following SOPs.

“Every night I worry. I worry because we don’t know how this Sars-CoV-2 virus behaves, it’s a novel virus. We don’t know how it mutates, how it behaves and what it is likely to do next, and most importantly, we also don’t know how people are going to behave.

“I know everyone is going to be rushing to the borders tomorrow but at the back of my mind, as the health minister, my biggest worry is another wave.”

He said this would not be “outside the realm of what’s possible,” and reminded people to be responsible as the country moves into the endemic phase. - FMT