Anti-vaccine group’s actions at ‘worrying level’ among Malays

Some parents refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated although the National Fatwa Council states vaccines are ‘harus’ (permissible) in Islam. (AFP pic)

BATU PAHAT: The refusal of some parents to have their children vaccinated can contribute to a rise of infectious diseases, according to Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Ayub Rahmat.

He said the actions of the “anti-vaccine group” was at a worrying level, especially when several diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), had been on the rise as there was no vaccination since birth.

“Some of them refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated, citing religious reasons and so on.

“However, we have to bear in mind that taking care of lives is ‘wajib’ (compulsory),” he told reporters after opening the state-level World Tuberculosis Day 2018 at the Advance Technology Training Centre (Adtec) near here today.

Present was Johor health director Dr Selahuddeen Abd Aziz.

According to Ayub, the National Fatwa Council had decided that taking vaccines is “harus” (permissible) in Islam as a method to prevent diseases.

“We are worried if more people are into this (anti-vaccine campaign) and if it becomes common, especially among the Malays, then more diseases will be contagious,” he said.

Apart from TB, among other diseases that can spread easily without vaccines are smallpox, diphtheria and polio, said Ayub.

Earlier, in his speech, he said the implementation of the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine on at least 95% of the population, aged below 20, had managed to give protection to all children from contracting severe TB.

Some 26,168 TB cases were detected last year, an increase of 1.65% compared with 25,742 cases in 2016.

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