IMMUNISATION is important, as it is one of the ways to protect children from various diseases.
Several medical experts and parents interviewed by StarMetro felt that this matter should not be taken lightly.
They said that as parents, it was their responsibility to get their children vaccinated, as it would help prevent the spread of diseases.
In a recent statement by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, he said seven critical issues that were interlinked had to be addressed before it could be decided whether to make it compulsory for children to be vaccinated.Dr Dzulkefly had said a task force looking into the matter had made a presentation to the Health director-general, and that he was waiting for the findings before it was presented to the Cabinet.
Consultant paediatrician and paediatric neurologist Dr Alex Khoo Peng Chuan said vaccination was the single most important life-saving discovery that changed the world in the last century.
He said medical students were taught the basis and science behind infections, and how our immune system worked to resist infection.
“Behind these lessons there will always be a single take-home message, that the easiest way to tackle infection is still prevention.
“The success of vaccination really cannot be disputed,” he added.
Dr Khoo said that between what doctors knew about infections, prevention and vaccination, children were better off being vaccinated rather than risk being harmed by an infection.
“It is so simple to prevent, but very deadly if unlucky enough to be invaded and infected by such microbes.
“Imagine if smallpox was not eradicated, millions would have died.
“Imagine a world of suffering brought on by poliomyelitis and tuberculosis.
“That was the norm in Malaysia between three and four decades ago,” he pointed out.
He added that the scenario still existed in certain countries where the vaccines were not available.
Housewife N. Redika Kanarasan, 42, said she was for vaccinations, and had made sure both her daughters followed the immunisation required as advised by the doctor.
She believed that the government would not have approved the vaccines if they were not required.
“Some anti-vaccine groups read articles based on stories from the United States and try to link them to the scenario in our country.
“We must understand that our food, climate and various other aspects are different and they play a role in our lifestyle, so vaccines are important,” she added.
Roshene Malar, 39, an assistant supervisor at a factory, also agreed that children must be vaccinated.
“It is like a firewall in our body as it will help prevent diseases that are potentially infectious,” she said.
Teacher Kiran Kaur said vaccinations were important to prevent the spread of contagious and dangerous diseases.
“With vaccination, diseases such as measles, polio, mumps and chickenpox can be prevented.
“As a parent, I want to make sure that my children are healthy and protected from preventable diseases, and I believe the right thing to do is to vaccinate them,” she said.
Similarly, home tutor Roop Kaur said she had faith in vaccinations and doctors.
“All my three children are vaccinated accordingly,” she said.
Did you find this article insightful?