Khairy: COVID-19 Vaccine Won't Be Mandatory And Will Only Be Given To 18 Years And Above

Those vaccinated will be under surveillance for a few years to monitor the effects of the vaccines.

Cover image via Luqman Hakim Zubir/New Straits Times

The COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia will not be mandatory, according to Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin

It is voluntary. If you want to get vaccinated, you have to sign up.

He said that the sign-up process for those who want to get vaccinated can be performed via MySejahtera mobile application, which will be equipped with the feature for vaccination in the future.

What this means is that the COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory for everyone and only those who consent or indicate their willingness to be vaccinated will be included in the vaccination programme.

Additionally, the vaccine won't be given to those who are under 18

According to Khairy, the government is looking to roll out the vaccine to Malaysians of aged 18 years old and above, including a portion of foreign workers, expatriates, and other non-Malaysian residents.

He had previously said that the reason only adults will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia is because most of the clinical tests were done only on adults.

"There have been no clinical trials on children for the vaccine," he was quoted as saying.

Additionally, after getting the injections, there will be surveillance for a few years, also known as Phase Four of the vaccination programme to monitor the effects of the vaccines.

With regards to how many foreign workers, expatriates, and non-Malaysian residents will be involved in the vaccination programme, Khairy said that this will be deliberated and decided by the Cabinet

"We will start with a risk assessment of who is at high risk and we will start with that group. It will be announced after the Cabinet approves the plan," the Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister said.

"The general plan is to start with frontline workers first, co-morbidity and senior citizens, etc. After that, we will have to have a system where once a general population is being vaccinated, who will go first and where you will get vaccinated."

According to Khairy, the government will try to target as many as possible.

"The principle is simple: We need to vaccinate them (foreign workers) to ensure that we and they are safe," he said, adding that the more foreigners are vaccinated, the safer Malaysians will be.

"If we vaccinate our people, but not three million foreigners, we are at risk because we haven't hit the threshold of herd immunity," he was quoted as saying.

Here's what we know so far about the vaccination programe:

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