KUCHING, Feb 10 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) will administer Covid-19 vaccinations in schools throughout the country from Monday under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids), said Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
The deputy health minister I said the government views the vaccination of children aged five to 11 as vital to protect them from the risk of Covid-19 infection.
“The MoH is targeting 70 per cent of eligible children to receive the first dose within the first two months and to complete two doses within six months of the implementation of PICKids.
“That is why we will start PPV (vaccination centres) in all schools by February 14 so that we can reach the target of 70 per cent or two million children who have returned to school to receive the vaccine,” he told reporters when visiting the Batu Kawa Health Clinic here today.
He was there to observe the implementation of PICKids at the clinic together with Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Dr Noor Azmi said the government and MoH are very concerned about the safety of children, explaining PICkids is being implemented because studies have found vaccination to be 90.7 per cent effective.
He said although most children infected with Covid-19 do not belong to the serious infection category, there have been cases of children admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and even fatalities due to Covid-19.
“The side effects of the vaccine are very few as compared to being infected, which is why one must get vaccinated. In America, a total of 8.6 million children have been vaccinated and only 11 of them showed side effects but were healthy again after treatment.
“So, I recommend all people not to worry or be afraid and immediately register their children for vaccination,” he said.
Dr Noor Azmi also praised Sarawak for starting PICKids earlier than other states in Malaysia.
He said 286,000 children aged five to 11 are eligible for PICKids in Sarawak — 10.1 per cent of the state’s total population.
As of yesterday (Feb 9), he said 12,301 first doses or 4.1 per cent had been given to children aged five to 11 in Sarawak, while nationwide 62,809 doses have been administered to the age group. — Borneo Post Online