ALOR SETAR: It is not even two months into the new year and already 1,623 children aged five to 12 in Kedah have contracted Covid-19, says the Kedah Health Department.
The total number of cases recorded in the state this year now stands at 13,217.
“This is very alarming. As such, children must be vaccinated to protect them from being infected with the virus,” said state Health Department director Dr Othman Warijo.
He added that his department had targeted 80% of children in that age bracket in the state to receive their Covid-19 vaccine shots within six months through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids).
“As at last Saturday, 33,930 children have registered for the vaccine through MySejahtera, but the number is still low as this represents only 15% of the age group or 215,508 children in the state,” he said.
Dr Othman added that PICKids in Kedah began on Sunday with 10 children receiving the vaccine.
“Today, we are expecting 40 children. Four special vaccination centres have been opened for the purpose,” he said after officiating the state’s PICKids at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah yesterday.
According to Bernama, Dr Othman also said that based on data from the Kedah Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre, 22,067 children in the state had been infected with Covid-19, with three deaths so far.
He added the department had not received any information of side effects on children who had received the vaccine and hoped this would convince parents to get their children vaccinated.
Public sector worker Shuhaina Shuib, 36, when met at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah lobby said she and here husband were there to get their 11, nine and six-year-old children vaccinated.
“They are excited and as long as the vaccine is beneficial and able to protect their health, I will fully support the vaccination efforts.”