Malaysian govt mulling school enrolment only for immunised children

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government is studying the possibility of allowing only children who have received immunisation to enrol for school.

She also said the proposal would be studied in detail.

“That’s one of the things that we are proposing as part of prevention of diseases,” she told reporters after launching the Petronas Foundation yesterday.

On Monday, Bernama reported that several parties including the Malaysian Islamic Doctors Association (PERDIM) and Malaysia I-MEDIC had suggested the move to be implemented to protect the children from preventable diseases such as diphtheria and measles.

This was following the death a two-year-old boy in Johor last week, believed to have been due to diphtheria infection as it was confirmed that he never received any immunisation since birth.

Five more children who were reported to have been in contact with the victim were also confirmed positive for diphtheria and are quarantined at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the immunisation was safe and it should not be doubted as the Department of Islamic Development and Malaysia (Jakim) had also issued a fatwa on its halal status.

She said the immunisation programme in 2017 reached 88 per cent of the original target at 95 per cent.

“We encourage (parents to immunise their children). Don’t listen (to anti-vaccine group claims). There may be one (two) negative cases. It’s was very unfortunate but for the majority of others, the vaccine is safe,” she said.