KUANTAN, Feb 25 — Most parents have not given permission for their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because they prefer to wait and see, stemming from worry over the side effects of vaccination, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
He said usually children only experience mild side effects while vaccination can protect them from severe COVID-19 infection.
He said three states which recorded less than 10 per cent vaccination rates through the National COVID-19 Children’s Immunisation Programme (PICKids), are Sabah, Terengganu and Kelantan.
“We hope parents will immediately give their consent so that efforts to increase the number of vaccinated children can go full swing,” he said at a press conference after inspecting PICKids at Sekolah Kebangsaan Wira here today.
Also present were Pahang Public Works, Transport and Health Committee chairman Datuk Seri Norolazali Sulaiman and Pahang Health Department director Datuk Dr Nor Azimi Yunus.
He added that only 58 children were reported to have adverse effects after the injection (AEFI) through PICKids as of last Wednesday.
PICKids is targeting 3.6 million children aged five to 11 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and as many as 708,187 individuals or 19.9 per cent of the population have received their first dose as of yesterday.
Apart from that, he said an outreach vaccination programme has been implemented for Orang Asli children in Pahang.
“Orang Asli children are not left out of vaccinations, I was informed that more than 700 Orang Asli children in Pos Lenjang, Lipis received it last week, and Pahang has 18 outreach teams to be deployed to remote locations,” he said.
In another development, Dr Noor Azmi said the investigation was still underway following an allegation of negligence at the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital (HRPZ II), Kelantan when a two-month-old baby boy, Muhammad Hilman Firdaus, sought treatment that resulted in his death.
Yesterday, the media reported that the baby’s family was taking legal action against the hospital.