Set up communication channel for immunisation programme to stop fake news, NGO urges govt

PETALING JAYA: The Alliance for Safe Community has urged the government to set up a dedicated communication channel for the National Immunisation Programme (NIP).

Its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said this was to ensure that only verified information on the Covid-19 vaccinations is circulated to the community.

"The arrival of the first batch of the vaccine in my opinion is a ray of hope for our country. That being said, the government must ensure effective communication with every member of the community.

"This needs to be done to stop the fake news being spread on the vaccine," he said when contacted on Sunday (Feb 21).

Lee said the government must also ensure the implementation of the NIP is conducted efficiently to ensure that all those who qualify will receive it.

"The important thing is to ensure no one is left behind. I myself could not help but get a little emotional watching the first batch of the vaccine arriving on the cargo plane on the television," he said.

He added that he was also relieved to hear that the government was not planning to compel people to be vaccinated.

"It must be voluntary but in this aspect, everyone must receive the right information on the vaccine and not fake news. The government should engage medical practitioners, and community leaders for this.

"They can be the voice to help spread the right information on the vaccine," he said, adding that the government could organise sessions with these leaders.

He said he was not denying that there may be side effects for some who are vaccinated.

"The government could also look into setting up an aid scheme to help those who are proven to be suffering from side effects," he said.

Lee said he was looking forward to receiving the vaccine himself.

"Since I am over the age of 60, I will probably receive it in the second phase," he said, adding that it was important for the NIP to be implemented properly so that the country could achieve herd immunity.

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