KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — The government will exhaust all its options before making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for the entire Malaysian population.
As of yesterday, 62 per cent of Malaysia’s total population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. More than half of the total population in all states, except Kelantan (46 per cent) and Sabah (43 per cent), have been fully inoculated.
“The government believes that mandating Covid-19 vaccination on all residents in Malaysia is the final proposed initiative that will only be implemented if needed to achieve optimum immunisation coverage,” Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Adham Baba said in a written Dewan Rakyat reply yesterday.
He said this in response to Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing’s question on the government’s efforts to ensure all adult Malaysians are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to achieve herd immunity, and if those who refuse vaccines will be denied certain privileges.
Dr Adham said the government is currently reviewing several alternative suggestions on ways to increase Covid-19 vaccine acceptance, which include the provision of an “opt-out” option for unvaccinated individuals who agree with not receiving the same benefits as fully vaccinated people, making vaccines mandatory for select activities and entry into public facilities, as well as making vaccination a requirement in high-risk sectors such as health, education, and services.
The Public Service Department (JPA) yesterday mandated Covid-19 vaccines for all federal civil servants. The mandate requires every federal government worker to complete their vaccinations by November 1 this year. Those who have yet to receive their vaccinations can get their jabs on a walk-in basis at several designated vaccination centres (PPVs).
Disciplinary action will be taken against unvaccinated civil servants who fail to produce exemption certificates as verified by government medical officers.