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BATU PAHAT, March 27 — The refusal of some parents to have their children vaccinated can contribute to a rise of infectious diseases, according to Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat.
He said such action by the ‘anti-vaccine group’ was at a worrying level, especially so when several diseases, such as tuberculosis or TB, had been on the rise as there was no vaccination since birth.
“Some of them refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated, citing religious reasons and so on. However, we have to bear in mind that taking care of lives is ‘wajib’ (compulsory),” he told reporters after opening the state-level World Tuberculosis Day 2018 at the Advance Technology Training Centre (Adtec) near here today.
Also present was Johor Health director Dr Selahuddeen Abd Aziz.
According to Ayub, the National Fatwa Council has decided that taking vaccines is ‘harus’ (permissible) in Islam as a method to prevent diseases.
“We are worried if more people are into this (anti-vaccine)... and this has become common, especially among the Malays. (If that were to happen, then) more diseases will be contagious,” he noted.
Apart from TB, among other diseases that could spread easily without vaccine were smallpox, diphtheria and polio, said Ayub.
Earlier in his speech, he said the implementation of the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine on at least 95 per cent of the population aged below 20, managed to give protection to all children from contracting severe TB.
Some 26,168 TB cases were detected last year, an increase of 1.65 per cent compared to 25,742 cases in 2016. — Bernama