Health ministry mulls making vaccination a must for undocumented kids

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad says stateless children who have not been vaccinated will become a problem for others. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking into a proposal to vaccinate undocumented children, says Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad today.

He said this was in view of the potential problem it could pose to the country.

“Stateless children, if they don’t undergo immunisation, will become a problem for us.

“Therefore, we may look into (legal) provisions and will consider all suggestions,” he told reporters after attending a gotong-royong to tackle Aedes mosquitoes at the Seri Alam low-cost housing area in Cheras.

Dzulkefly also said his ministry will bring a proposal by the Malaysian Paediatric Association to Parliament in the July sitting.

The proposal includes making it mandatory for children to receive two out of 12 vaccines recommended under the National Immunisation Programme.

He said these two vaccines could prevent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), as well as diphtheria.

It would require amendments to the law before the plan can be implemented.

“We hope it can be made mandatory as soon as we come to a decision together with the women, family and community development ministry.

“We just need some amendments to the law to make it mandatory,” he said.

Dzulkefly previously said that the government would finalise the issue soon.

“I am looking into this proposal thoroughly as making vaccination mandatory for these two vaccines can help prevent so many diseases,” he said.

The Kuala Selangor MP said the ministry had set up a special task force to review this proposal in its efforts to make it mandatory for children to undergo immunisation.

He said the setting up of the task force showed the ministry’s high commitment in ensuring children’s health is guaranteed and preventing deaths resulting from non-vaccination.