KUALA LUMPUR – March 6, 2019: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik has once again being flamed in cyberspace following his statement yesterday that his ministry has no plan to introduce a mandatory vaccination policy for school students.
Many tweeter users pointed out that it is important for all children to be vaccinated before attending public schools.
Ahmad Abdillah, tweeted in response to Maszlee’s statement by insisting that mandatory vaccination is a must for all children.
“Ask vaccine experts in Malaysia, they will tell you what happens if kids do not receive vaccination. In United States, a child that is not vaccinated will not be able to attend public schools,” he said.
Umar Aziz echoed such an opinion, citing that all children attending public schools must be vaccinated first.
“It is dangerous not just for the (individual) child but for other children. If they go to school, they have to be vaccinated,” said Umar.
Besides individuals, non-governmental organization (NGO) Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy also lashed out at Maszlee, telling him that allowing un-vaccinated children to attend schools will be counter-productive.
“There are a few schools in Kajang, Putrajaya and Gombak having to be temporarily shut down in 2017 and late 2018 because of Mump virus among school kids who did not receive proper vaccines.
“Some schools had to close down for a week while some for a month to stop the outbreak. This virus could be avoided with immunisation programme,” said CEO of the NGO, Azrul Mohd Khalib today.
Maszlee, however, has since wrote a new Facebook posting, clarifying that he is in favor of vaccination but will not restrict students without it from entering public schools.
He also claimed that the headline of an earlier Berita Harian report on the matter was misleading.
Nonetheless, many responded to Maszlee’s clarification by pointing out that the recent fatal case involving diphtheria virus could have been avoided with proper immunisation programme.
“Sir, I can understand your point, no doubt that education is the most important, but we are concerned for our children’s health above all. Really hope both ministries (education and health) could work together on this,” tweeted Nurul Zulaikha Ismail.
Azmi Wahab downright disagreed with Maszlee, stressing that un-vaccinated children should not be allowed in public schools.
“I don’t agree YB, if parents can choose to not vaccinate their child, they can choose to send their child to private schools or private home tutor and not attend public schools.
“Even the name suggest that the school is public, priority should be given to the majority who vaccinated their child,” said Azmi.