KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — A senior consultant paediatrician believed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would reduce the risk of persons with disabilities (PwD) getting infected with COVID-19.

Head Clinical Research Centre of Perak, Datuk Dr Amar Singh HSS said currently there are no restrictions for this group to get COVID-19 vaccine unless their immune system is compromised.

“I believe that the vaccine is going to be an important part of the whole process of getting rid or controlling COVID-19, and we must remember that people with disabilities might be at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19,” he said.

He said this during the Think Differently with Ras Adiba virtual talk show hosted by Bernama chairman Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi aired on Bernama TV, here tonight.

However, his concern was on the possible side effects of the vaccine to certain categories of PwD such as those with down syndrome cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy due to their weaker immune system compared to other individuals.

“The major problem I believe is the allergic reaction…(however) looking at millions (of people) who have been immunised, (only) a few have developed severe reactions to the vaccine,” added Dr Amar who is the recipient of the Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award 2012 and SENIA Advocacy Award 2016.

The first batch of 312,390 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine safely arrived in Malaysia through the national entry points at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang; Johor and Penang on Feb 21.

The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme is implemented in three phases starting Feb 24, with Phase 1 from Feb to April 2021 for the frontliners involving 500,000 people.

The Phase 2, from April to August, will involve senior citizens aged 65 and above, the high-risk groups as well as, PwD involving some 9.4 million people, while Phase 3 from May this year to February 2022 will cover both Malaysians and non-citizens aged 18 and above, targeting more than 13.7 million people.


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