Deputy Education Minister I Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon has clarified that no pupil will be barred from attending school should they refuse the COVID-19 vaccine
The Deputy Minister made this revelation at a special press conference with his co-deputy Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali yesterday, 22 September.
"Every student has the right (to study and attend school). There is no reason for MOE (Ministry of Education) to prevent them from returning to school (without vaccination)," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Mah – who is also MCA deputy president – elaborated by saying that the number of objectors among pupils is relatively small, and it is their parents who don't allow them to receive their shots.
"Counselling will be given especially to parents as it is not the student who decline to be vaccinated."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education had earlier said teachers who refuse the COVID-19 jab will not be allowed to interact with students face to face
Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin made the announcement earlier this month to assuage the concerns of parents, reported Berita Harian.
"This number (of unvaccinated teachers) is not a lot and represents only a small fraction of the over 400,000 teachers in this country," said Radzi.
"(The ministry) wants to protect our children at school so that parents are confident that schools are safe for them."
He says that unvaccinated teachers will be given alternative assignments, and that his ministry are in talks with the Public Service Department (JPA) to redress the matter.
The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Adolescents (PICK Remaja) begins in earnest today.
Vaccinations will be conducted on a scheduled basis, though only teenagers who are out-of-school may walk-in.
The programme will involve 156 suitable vaccination centres (PPVs) and targets the roughly 3.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old nationwide, reported Bernama.
"The scheduled walk-in vaccination will be implemented based on school location and distance from the identified PPV, and according to the given date and time," said Noor Azmi at an earlier presser.
Noor Azmi, who is the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force-Adolescent (CITF-A) chairman, also reminded parents not to rush their children to PPVs, as there is sufficient supply of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate all youths, as per New Straits Times.