The Government Is Considering Allowing Only Vaccinated Children To Enrol In Kindergarten

The firm approach is meant to protect children against contagious diseases.

Cover image via AFP

The Health Ministry of Malaysia is looking into a proposal that will only allow vaccinated children to be enrolled in kindergartens

Image via MIMS Pediatrics

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam explained that the proposal is not meant to be discriminatory, but rather, a preventive measure to protect children from contagious diseases

Image via N9Kini

"It is at the research stage. The decision will be made in line with Malaysians' acceptance on the need to vaccinate," he said, adding that the move is also practiced in Australia, where children are required to be vaccinated before they can be enrolled in preschool.

When asked if the government is planning to take sterner action on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, Dr. Subramaniam said that the ministry is cooperating with other agencies to provide accurate information on the importance of vaccination

"Among measures being implemented are the setting up of an immunisation advocacy group, organising forums with the cooperation of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and providing information on the MyHealth portal website for the reference of the community," he added.

The proposed approach has already received support from the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), who expressed that teachers are ready to act as a medium to relay information on the measure to parents

Speaking to the New Straits Times, NUTP president Kamarozaman Abdul Razak said that the union applauds the move to make vaccination a compulsory condition for enrolment, adding that it is a step towards ensuring future generations are protected from deadly diseases.

Kamarozaman also suggested that officials from the Health Ministry and health experts should go on-ground to explain and dispel myths about vaccination, as some parents may feel like they are being forced to vaccinate their children

"We hope Health Ministry officers could talk to (parents) directly, in villages, cities, and come to the schools too. Parents can come to the schools and listen to the talks. The teachers are always ready to assist further. Teachers can campaign on this, educate students on its importance so that those with younger siblings understand the importance too," he told New Straits Times.

Do you think the ministry should make it compulsory for children to be vaccinated before they are allowed to enrol in kindergarten? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Read more trending stories on SAYS: