SEREMBAN, March 13 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) is targeting to have 50 per cent of children in Malaysia aged five to 11 vaccinated against Covid-19 through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) before the school session begins next week.

As such, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin urged parents to immediately bring their children to get their vaccine shot in order to protect them from the adverse effects should they be infected with Covid-19.

“What is worrying is children’s admission into the intensive care unit (ICU) due to Covid-19. Currently, only 32 per cent of children aged five to 11 have been vaccinated.

“Don’t just ‘wait and see’ as school is reopening in a week’s time. So I urge that you take your children for vaccination immediately. The vaccine cannot prevent infection but our children will be protected from the adverse effects of Covid-19,” he told reporters after a community service programme organised by the Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants here today.

At the event, Khairy said the MoH plans to hold Health Screening Month in July to encourage more people aged 40 and above to undergo free health screening at government hospitals and health clinics.

He said the Peka B40 health screening outreach programme was also being implemented by the MoH together with private medical practitioners in the rural and remote areas.

“We have decided at the ministry that one month this year be dedicated specially for health screening, I will announce the date and target number of people to be screened in that month,” he said.

He said following the Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years, not many non-Covid-19 health service programmes could be implemented.

“This is the right time for those responsible to create awareness and prepare to implement health screening,” he said adding that so far only 561,000 of the 4.9 million PeKa B40 recipients have taken advantage of the health protection scheme. — Bernama