KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The federal government has identified 2,400 health care workers from the Ministry of Health (MOH) who have not received their Covid-19 vaccine shots.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told Parliament’s health, science and innovation committee in a meeting on September 28 that these 2,400 unvaccinated government health care workers include those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds and those who refuse coronavirus vaccines.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who was also present during the meeting with the Dewan Rakyat special select committee, said the figure comprised medical officers, nurses, medical assistants, and others at MOH.
“All across-lah, so we also have specialists actually in the private sector, who are coming on TV and saying this…that means there is no trust in the vaccine and et cetera,” Dr Noor Hisham told committee chairman Dr Kelvin Yii, who asked what jobs the unvaccinated MOH staff were working in.
According to transcripts of the September 28 meeting, published in the parliamentary committee’s “Transitioning from Pandemic to Endemic Covid-19 Safely and Sustainably” report that was tabled in Parliament on Monday, Khairy suggested weekly Covid-19 testing for unvaccinated public workers that would be borne by the government if these staff refused shots on medical grounds.
When Dr Yii asked about unvaccinated private sector workers, Khairy said: “They should pass the cost on to the people who do not want to be vaccinated.”
The Public Service Department (JPA) reportedly issued a circular last October 18 that warned unvaccinated civil servants of disciplinary action or termination if they failed to get their Covid-19 jabs without legitimate medical reasons. Only less than 2 per cent of federal government workers had not yet received coronavirus vaccination as of October 12.
Malaysia has an extremely high Covid-19 vaccination rate, with nearly 96 per cent of adults fully vaccinated. About 75 per cent of Malaysia’s total population have completed Covid-19 inoculation, as well as 69 per cent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.