PUTRAJAYA, Feb 16 — Allergy and medical history of individuals will be screened for suitability prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

“Those who are not suitable for receiving the vaccine, will not be given the jab,” he told a press conference after launching the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Handbook today.

Muhyiddin said once the individual received the vaccine jab, her or she will be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes before being allowed to leave the vaccination centre to ensure no incidence of serious allergies reactions.

He said the vaccine may have mild side effects, such as swelling at the injection site, but such effect will heal on its own.

Considering the development in other countries where similar vaccination programme had been implemented, Muhyiddin said he hoped that there would not be any unusual incidence in Malaysia that would require the government to review its decision on matters related to the programme.

However, he said the government would continue monitoring the efficacy and safety of the vaccine to ensure that the immunisation programme could proceed as long as possible to the extent of having the entire population vaccinated.

About the target of 80 per cent of the Malaysian population receiving the COVID-19 vaccine since many had doubted its efficacy, Muhyiddin said the government will not resort to making it compulsory.

“People should understand that they will be facing difficulties in the long term including travel restriction as most countries might ban people who are not vaccinated to enter (their countries).

“If you are not vaccinated, there could be a restriction for you to move around,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the success of the immunisation programme is important for the economy as it would enable more sectors like tourism to resume operations.


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