Gov’t never forced children to be vaccinated – PM

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Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The government had never forced parents to register their children to be vaccinated through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the perception that the government was forcing children to be inoculated via PICKids was untrue as parents have always been given a choice on the matter.

“We discussed this in the Cabinet. There is no compulsion on the people, whether the third, fourth, fifth (dose)… especially on children,” he said.

“In the early days when the first vaccine dose was given, many were also reluctant or afraid to be vaccinated, and later there was a rush for the shots with the second dose no longer an issue,” he told reporters after attending the Keluarga Malaysia Entrepreneur and Family Cooperative carnival in Taman Nusantara here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri was responding to reports that the vaccination rate under PICKids was still under 10 per cent.

As of yesterday, a total of 341,960 or 9.6 per cent of children aged between five and 11 have received their Covid-19 vaccine first dose through PICKids.

Ismail Sabri said the Covid-19 booster shot rate was also increasing despite negative talk surrounding the vaccine.

“I understand that currently, many are taking the booster shot. The only thing is that maybe for children, this is something new, so for the people (apprehension) is something normal.

“When it comes to new things, people usually adopt a wait and see attitude, especially when there are rumours flying about, so we can’t blame the people,” he said. — Bernama

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