Health Ministry: Anti-vaxxers still few and disorganised

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks during an interview with Malay Mail January 31, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks during an interview with Malay Mail January 31, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The local movement against vaccination comprises around 1 per cent of the population and is considered a minor threat to the country’s wellbeing, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

He also told the Lower House during Question Time today that advocates of the movement were less organised than counterparts elsewhere.

“We are aware that there are anti-vax followers among the community. But if we compare it to other countries, currently the anti-vax followers here are not as organised. In our country, there’s no organised anti-vax movement.

“And if we look at our feedback, less than 1 per cent of Malaysians are proponents of anti-vax,” said Dr Lee, who was replying to additional questions by Datuk Seri Adham Baba.

The retired cardiologist said the government has been using social media platforms and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to spread factual data regarding vaccines to combat the anti-vaccination threat.

The government will also take action against irresponsible homoeopathy practitioners who make false claims that their treatment can replace vaccines.

Earlier, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (PH-Jeli) asked if the government would make vaccination mandatory for newborns, which Dr Lee then told him was being studied.