Syed Saddiq Kicks Anti-Vaxxers Out of Youth Centre

The youth and sports minister accused anti-vaxxers of trying to “indirectly murder” people.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has prohibited an anti-vaccination seminar from taking place at a government-owned youth centre here.

Syed Saddiq shared on Twitter a poster of the event called “Seminar Realiti Vaksin” (Vaccine Reality Seminar), hosted by a company called Darul Ansor Resources, that alleged misinformation like “hidden dangers in vaccines”, the herd immunity “myth”, and Islamic jurisprudence on the use of “dangerous medicines”.

The poster featured two women speakers in niqab (full veil revealing only the wearer’s eyes), who were purportedly a “mental hygiene and cell medicine consultant” and a Shariah law researcher.

The seminar was to be held on May 19 at the International Youth Centre in Kuala Lumpur owned by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Another major study reported last March has shown that there is no link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Herd immunity prevents a disease from spreading when most of the population is vaccinated against it, which then protects others who cannot be vaccinated like people with failing immune systems or children who are too young to be vaccinated.

The Health Ministry announced previously that a special task force would table its proposal to the ministry’s planning steering committee last May 8 to make vaccines compulsory, before it will be tabled to the Cabinet.

It is unknown, however, if Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad can push through compulsory vaccination amid a rising threat of vaccine hesitancy, since Women, Family and Community Development Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Education Minister Maszlee Malik have expressed ambivalence about making vaccines mandatory for school students.

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