PETALING JAYA: The government is looking to craft an effective communication plan and strategy on the safety and necessity of the Covid-19 vaccine for the people, especially for groups with “alternative theories”, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
Khairy said Malaysia, like many other countries, has a pretty robust anti-vaccination lobby, which is why public health and risk communications on the vaccine will be vital.
The minister said he had been in discussions with Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, who is the Prime Minister’s special adviser on public health, to craft the communication strategies.
“We don’t want a situation where anti-vaxxers come out and point to certain examples which are not apple-to-apple comparisons, like what happened in the Philippines when they came up with a dengue vaccine which resulted in the deaths of infants.
“So we are going to have to ensure we communicate the safety and efficacy data of these (Covid-19) vaccines clearly to the public, ” he said.
Khairy said it was pivotal to communicate the efficacy and importance of the vaccine, so the rakyat would be confident to participate in mass immunisation once vaccines were readily available.
He said the communication process had to “start now”, adding that he hoped to roll out the message by the end of the year.
He also said his ministry was looking at other forms of technology; for example, the deployment of blockchain technology for the vaccination process once it was available. This, said Khairy, would be a way to keep track of the process.