KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — A health workers’ group submitted today a petition with 120,000 signatures to Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad calling for mandatory childhood vaccinations.
The Medical Mythbusters Malaysia also said the petition launched on February 25 has received support from 15 health non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the Asean Commission For the Promotion and Protection of the Right of Women and Children.
“He expressed his commitment towards making vaccines compulsory by taking into account the views of all parties, including the people’s support expressed through this petition,” Medical Mythbusters Malaysia said in a statement today, referring to Dzulkefly.
Medical Mythbusters Malaysia said it and a few other NGO representatives handed the petition, which has 119,988 signatures at the time of writing, to the health minister at his office here today at noon.
According to Medical Mythbusters Malaysia, its petition was part of a #WajibVaksin campaign to support the government’s efforts to make the vaccines in the national immunisation programme compulsory for all Malaysian children.
The NGO comprising health workers like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists also suggested that parents send their unvaccinated or under-vaccinated child to private school or home school, as it proposed mandatory vaccination for government school.
The Health Ministry is currently mulling making childhood immunisation compulsory, amid the rise in preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, and a low measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination rate of 89 per cent, below the required 95 per cent for herd immunity.
The Education Ministry and the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry, however, have remained non-committal on the issue.