Khairy calls up Harian Metro editor after headline deemed ‘damaging’ to Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin says the headline of the article particularly had left negative and damaging impact towards the government's Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, after it appeared to link the nurse’s death to the vaccine. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin says the headline of the article particularly had left negative and damaging impact towards the government's Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, after it appeared to link the nurse’s death to the vaccine. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 ― Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the he will call up the editor of local Malay daily Harian Metro after deeming an article it published on the death of a nurse to be “very irresponsible”.

Taking to Twitter, the Rembau MP said that the headline of the article particularly had left negative and damaging impact towards the government's Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, after it appeared to link the nurse’s death to the vaccine.

“This headline is very irresponsible and has given a negative impact to the execution of the National Immunisation Programme.

“I will be calling up the editor today but damage is done based on the comments on Facebook and others. Thanks for nothing @hmetromy,” he posted, tagging the paper’s Twitter account.

The local Malay-language tabloid had yesterday published an article online with the headline in Malay meaning “Nurse who received vaccine dies of heart illness”.

At the time of writing, the tweet of the article is still up despite the backlash from readers and Khairy.

Yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had already clarified that the death of the nurse was not linked to the vaccine she had received.

He reportedly said the nurse's death was due to cardiac arrest and not because she received the vaccine, adding that authorities have already examined the incident and found no link to her death with receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on March 12.

According to reports yesterday, the nurse was found dead at her home in Kedah by her husband.

The woman had been with the neo-natal ward of Hospital Pulau Pinang and received her Covid-19 vaccine earlier this month as part of the first phase of the National Immunisation Programme.

Links were made to the vaccination after reports cited a police official as saying that the husband informed a medical officer that the nurse fell ill a day after receiving her vaccine.

As in other countries, Putrajaya, through the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority, reviews the safety of all Covid-19 vaccines before they are approved for use.

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