PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan leaders have urged the government to run a vaccine confidence campaign to ensure that the majority of Malaysians will take the vaccine once it is made available.
Members of the Pakatan Harapan Immunisation Taskforce, led by former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, said, in a statement Friday (Feb 5), that the campaign is to convince Malaysians that the vaccines are safe and effective in significantly lowering the risk of Covid-19 infection.
“We cannot assume that the Malaysian public or even the frontliners are already convinced that they should take whatever vaccine that will be made available to them.
“The global anti-vaccine movement has grown over time and it cannot be denied that there are ‘anti-vaxxer’ groups in Malaysia who would not want to take any Covid-19 vaccine and may convince their friends to also not take the vaccine, ” the taskforce said.
The taskforce added that Malaysians must be informed of the scientific basis and the efficacy rate of each of the vaccines that will be used.
“A vigorous publicity campaign featuring scientists, medical professionals, respected celebrities and other trusted personalities needs to be conducted, ” it noted.
The members also urged for a “track-and-trace” record for every dose of vaccine from storage to recipient to ensure a thorough follow up is conducted on the efficacy of each vaccine for individuals who have been vaccinated.
“This will also prevent the use of fake vaccines and fake vaccine certificates, some of which have already been reported in other countries.
“Crucially, the government needs to have a comprehensive Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) tracking mechanism and communications strategy, ” it said.