Govt mulling compulsory vaccination for measles, diphtheria

(AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The health ministry is considering making at least two out of 12 vaccinations under the National Immunisation Programme compulsory, a day after the education ministry said it would not restrict students who have not been vaccinated from attending school.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the vaccinations under consideration are the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, and the vaccine for diphtheria.

“I have heard from some health organisations, including the Malaysian Paediatric Association, that we should consider making these two compulsory.

“With these two vaccination programmes, we can handle at least six or seven diseases,” he told reporters after officiating the Malaysian Healthcare Conference 2019 here today.

He said his ministry had set up a task force to oversee the matter from all aspects, adding that it would not be an easy decision as there are legal factors involved as well.

However, he said the government is committed to ensuring the health of children and preventing any further deaths from these diseases.

Yesterday, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the government would not close the door to education for any student.

He also said that immunisation and children’s right to education are separate issues.