Malaysia kicks off vaccination for kids

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by BERNAMA

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Kids (PICKids) officially begins today (Feb 3) for children aged between five and 11.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said PICKids recipients will be given 10mcg of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine, which has been approved by the country’s drug control agency (DCA).

He added that the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine will be done on a voluntary basis and parents or guardians must provide written permission to qualify their children for the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Today, the introduction of PICKids in hospitals across Malaysia is being done simultaneously for children with comorbidities and immunocompromised children that are under the low immunity group.

“Children in this category are a priority for vaccination at the treating hospital.

“The vaccine is administered free of charge to all children living in Malaysia regardless of their citizenship status,” Khairy said at the opening ceremony of the PICKids at Tunku Azizah Hospital in Kuala Lumpur today.

According to the minister, a total of 1,200 children will be vaccinated today through the booking of an appointment at three integrated vaccination centres (PPVs) in the Klang Valley, namely World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur; Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil; and Ideal Convention Centre, Shah Alam.

He noted that the appointments will be given in stages and apply to parents living in the Klang Valley starting Feb 1 and later to those living outside the Klang Valley.

As of Feb 1, a total of 517,107 child registrations have been recorded in the MySejahtera application, which was about 15% of the total cohorts of 3.6 million.

He is also hopeful that almost half of Malaysia’s children would get vaccinated by the end of this month.

He said the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force for Children (CITF-C) under Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali would be working together with the Education Ministry to encourage more children to get vaccinated.

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