PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry says that it is still early to determine how many school-going teenagers would refuse Covid-19 inoculations, but that the situation would be monitored closely.
Deputy Education Ministry Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon however did not expect the numbers of these students to be high and said that they would take several approaches to convince them to be vaccinated including counselling the parents.
“We have discussed this in detail and we acknowledge that a student has the right to study and there is no reason we can refuse or not allow them to come back to school to study.
“We will have counselling, especially for the parents. For a child who does not want to vaccinate, usually, it is because of the parents.
“There might be a small number who are hesitant or even reject vaccines, but we have several steps to help explain why they must take the vaccine,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 22).
The vaccination programme for teenagers is expected to involve 3.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Up to Sept 21, a total of 410,489 teens have received their first jabs since the programme kicked off in Sarawak on Sept 8.
Sabah leads the way with 140,890 doses administered to teens, followed by Sarawak (85,291), Kedah (31,294), Kelantan (17,413), Johor (27,936) and Labuan (2,515).
So far, the government has only approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Comirnaty, for the age group.
The government is targeting at least 60% of teens to receive at least one jab by November and 80% of them to receive two jabs by December.