SEREMBAN: Only a small number of parents are against the move to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19, says Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
He said despite this, he hoped they would change their minds and support the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Adolescents.
“From the feedback I received, there are some parents who are still undecided on this, but the number is small.
“In fact, I was told that some parents who were against it initially have since changed their minds after being given the necessary explanation.
“We are keeping tabs on this and hope they will support the government’s initiative,” he said after visiting the Seremban City Council Hall vaccination centre (PPV).
Dr Mah said this was already expected because there would always be a small number of people who would be sceptical whenever a new initiative is launched.
He said on its part, the government will continue with programmes to educate and create awareness on the importance of being vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We have taken note of this and will do our best to encourage as many children to be vaccinated,” he added.
He said the authorities have also set up counselling booths at PPV to provide more information to those who were not yet ready to get the vaccine or to answer any queries.
Schools will reopen in stages in states under Phase Two, Three and Four of the National Recovery Plan from Oct 3.
Parents can, however, opt not to send their children to school, but they must write the school a letter explaining their reasons.
Dr Mah said the vaccination programme has been running smoothly with 33.3% of all children aged between 12 and 17 having received their first dose as at Sept 26.
Of these, 4.5% have also received their second.
In Negri Sembilan, 24.1% have received their first shot and 4.7% have been fully vaccinated.
Dr Mah reiterated that students who have not been vaccinated will not be stopped from going back to school.
Asked if they may be isolated in separate classrooms, he said this was not the proper thing to do.
“We cannot discriminate against them. What is important is that we continue to encourage them to take the vaccination,” he said.
On another matter, Dr Mah said the ministry has not received any reports of students suffering side effects after being vaccinated.
He said parents or guardians should quickly take their children for treatment if they fall ill after being vaccinated.
“If this happens, they will also have to update the information in the MySejahtera app.
“This is important so that we can continue with the programme and ensure its success,” he added.