Act against anti-vaxxers, urges public health physicians association

Certain groups are resorting to social media to spread wrong information on negative effects of immunisation that have raised fears and concerns among the public. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association (PPPKAM) has urged the government to take legal action against anti-vaccination groups for spreading false information related to vaccines and immunisation.

Its president, Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, said legal action would reduce the spread of misinformation about vaccination activities that has raised fears and concerns among the public.

“I agree that these anti-vaccination groups should be prosecuted.

“They often spread false facts, usually on social media, about negative effects of immunisation and blame the government for running the national immunisation programme (NIP).

“If the health ministry says the actions of these groups are wrong and harmful to the public for spreading misinformation about vaccines, the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission can do their job in accordance with the provisions of the law against these people,” he said after participating in the “Vaccination roundtable: Should childhood immunisation be made compulsory by law?” here today.

He was commenting on the fifth resolution of the conference that the government take strict action against anti-vaccination groups.

Meanwhile, Zainal also urged the government to develop and produce its own vaccines in the country and reduce dependence on foreign products.

“We actually have the expertise to produce our own vaccines. For example, we have the Institute of Medical Research. Of course, this is a good idea and we will enjoy cost savings in producing it here,” he said.

During the roundtable session, attended by 22 NGOs, 10 resolutions were issued. One of them is for the government to make immunisation compulsory for children nationwide.