A task force was formed last year to look into all aspects of ensuring mandatory vaccination for children, said the ministry in a written reply.
Stakeholders from various ministries, government and private agencies as well as non-governmental organisations were asked to contribute their feedback.
“There were also suggestions to amend related Acts (laws) concerning the responsibility of parents and guardians.
“The Health Ministry also looked into current laws in Malaysia and other countries in the world.
“However, after looking at the implementation as well as implications in using legal methods to make it compulsory for children to be immunised in Malaysia, the Health Ministry had decided not to make it mandatory.
“Instead, the approach taken will be to improve and enhance the current delivery service, which includes increase in tracing of cases, educational approaches and promotions,” said the ministry in reply to Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) who asked what efforts were taken to make it mandatory for parents to ensure their infants get the five-line (DtaP/IPV/HiB) vaccination shots.
The ministry said the five-line vaccination shots begun in 2008 to provide protection against five types of diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis as well as Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
It added that in 2019, there were 16 cases of diphtheria reported with six deaths recorded.
From the six deaths, five were children who did not have immunisation records.
As for tetanus, the ministry said 30 cases were reported, out of which, one death was recorded.
The child did not have immunisation records.
Regarding pertussis, some 915 cases were recorded with 20 deaths.
All death cases did not have immunisation records.
Meanwhile, there were three polio cases recorded and four cases due to HiB. Both did not record any cases of death throughout 2019.
Did you find this article insightful?
59% readers found this article insightful