Pneumococcal vaccination programme to begin in June, says Dr Lee

  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Jan 2020

IPOH: The Health Ministry’s pneumococcal vaccination programme will begin in June, says Dr Lee Boon Chye.

The Deputy Health Minister said the ministry was awaiting procurement of the vaccination.

Dr Lee said once they received the vaccination, it would be distributed to all government health clinics and hospitals.

“Babies born from Jan 1 this year onwards are eligible for the vaccination.

“People are asking about babies born before that. For that, the ministry has no budget, and thus we are not able to provide them with the vaccination, ” he told reporters after visiting the Gunung Rapat Health Clinic here on Friday (Jan 3).

The ministry had requested RM60mil in allocation in Budget 2020 to procure the vaccination.

Pneumococcal vaccination protects against pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, bacteraemia and otitis media (middle ear infection).

On another matter, Dr Lee said since the no-smoking law in eateries was first announced last year, there had been an increase in smokers getting help from government clinics to quit smoking.

He said with just RM1 registration fee, smokers wanting to quit the habit would get not only proper consultation from experts, but are also provided with medication.

“I'm hoping with the ban in full force since Jan 1, there will be more people taking the first step to quit smoking.

“Those who are unable to quit, must start reducing, and if they are unable to do that, they should stop smoking in front of people, especially when their wife and children are around.

“In the last seven years (2012-2019) a total of 18,600 people have quit smoking after visiting the relevant government health clinics, ” he added.

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