PUTRAJAYA, May 13 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad today said Putrajaya is planning to offer free influenza shots to the elderly, as part of the National Immunisation Programme (NIP), from next year.

However, Dzulkefly, who is also the Kuala Selangor MP, said any rollout would be subject to Ministry of Finance (MOF) approval.

“It is still under discussion. Seniors are most at risk. We will apply to the MOF to put it in the 2025 Budget first,” he said during a press conference after officiating the National Immunisation Day celebration at Zenith Hotel, here.

He added that the free shots will be administered once a year to seniors who wish to get one.


So far, the free influenza vaccine is only eligible for frontline government health officers.

Dzulkefly also said the government has approved a combination tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (D-TAP) vaccine for expectant mothers.

“This is expected to start at the end of 2024, to protect newborns from pertussis infections, or whooping cough,” he said.


The vaccine will be administered once every pregnancy.

In his speech, Dzulkefly reminded the public that vaccines are not only effective, but also scientifically proven to be safe.

“We cannot be complacent. This is because certain parties are now actively spreading false propaganda about vaccines.

“This is not a matter of knowledge, because knowledge requires discipline and continuous proof. This is not a matter of choice, because choice requires accountability especially to the public. This is a matter of misinformation and disinformation propagated by anti-science ideology, which was initially contagious in the West, but has now become a global phenomenon.

“As a result, many parents have chosen to deny vaccines to their children. This has caused cases such as diphtheria and polio that I mentioned earlier, this issue arises again from time to time, thus endangering public health.,” he said.