Torn over vaccine requirement

Time for shots: People lining up to get their booster shot at a vaccination centre in Dewan Serbaguna MBSJ at Bandar Puchong. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Parents remain divided on whether to allow their young children aged three to 11 to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as some are concerned about the effects.

Dzuria Azmi said she will follow the government’s directive if it requires her nine-year-old son to be vaccinated.

“We may not have a choice as there will be restrictions if you are not vaccinated, and it could be very troublesome for us.

“It’s not as if I can leave my son at home and not take him out at all,” the 43-year-old senior executive said.

Dzuria added that one of her friends had been reluctant to have her child vaccinated but had to give in when the child was unable to attend school due to their unvaccinated status.

Kirpal Singh, 45, said he has no qualms about vaccinating his two children aged seven and 10 but would prefer to have the option of getting a non-mRNA vaccine like CoronaVac, produced by Sinovac.

The IT engineer said his two older children had taken Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty, an mRNA vaccine.

“If there is no choice, we will take what we can get. Some protection is better than none at all,” he said.

Jacky Sim, however, expressed hesitancy in allowing his four-year-old to be vaccinated.

“I am worried about possible side effects because of his young age. I will decline it until I know that it is truly safe for my kid,” the 44-year-old clerk said.

A sales executive who only wanted to be known as Terry said that for now, she isn’t keen to allow her five-year-old daughter to be jabbed as she has concerns about potential side effects.

“I do not know what side effects there would be on my little girl, especially in the years to come. It is not an easy decision for parents. I am just going to observe the situation first,” the 33-year-old said.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian has announced that Sarawak will begin vaccinating children aged three to 11 against Covid-19 from next month, and they will be given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In October last year, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government would procure Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children in the country as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended the vaccine for those aged five to 11.

Pfizer has said its vaccine for children is more than 90% effective in preventing asymptomatic infection.

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