KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has called on parents to take the opportunity to protect their children from the Covid-19 outbreak as the registration for the first dose under the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) will be closed on May 15, a mere eight days away.
"Take the opportunity to protect your children from Covid-19, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and other complications due to infection.
"More than 1.5 million children have been vaccinated (with Covid-19 vaccine) in Malaysia. It is proven safe!," he posted on his Twitter account on Saturday (May 7).
According to the CovidNow website on Saturday a total of 1,542,513 or 43.4% of children aged between five and 11 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Friday (May 6).
A total of 894,826 or 25.2% of children from the age group in Malaysia have been fully vaccinated under PICKids, as of yesterday, it said, adding that a total of 2,896,056 or 93.1% of adolescents aged between 12 and 17 have received both doses while 2,993,641 or 96.2% have received the first dose of the vaccine.
Khairy was reported as saying that after PICKids ended, children would have to pay to get the Covid-19 vaccines.
The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force for Children (CITF-C) announced that the first dose under PICKids would no longer be offered after the May 15 deadline due to low demand which could lead to high vaccine wastage.
After the deadline, only the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine will be offered for a fee, it added.
PICKids cannot be extended as it involved the expiration date of the vaccine, the delivery schedule from the manufacturer as well as efforts to procure more antiviral drugs. - Bernama