Importance of vaccine information


RECENTLY, we have been getting good news about the development of three vaccines that have proven to be effective in preventing Covid-19. These vaccines were developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

Most scientists, medical experts and virologists would not have believed that developing a vaccine against a disease could be achieved within a year of its known existence, hence this is truly a great human achievement.

Nevertheless, we must be cautious and allow established authorities such as the Federal Drug Administration and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States as well as the World Health Organisation to review and validate the effectiveness of these vaccines before we use them.

We have also heard of other Covid-19 vaccines being developed by Russia, China, India and even our neighbour Thailand that are in the midst of clinical trials.

But whatever vaccine is chosen by the Malaysian government, it must be reviewed thoroughly by the Health Ministry’s vaccine and public health experts.

There must also be a concerted effort to disseminate positive information about the chosen vaccine. As a practising medical doctor, I have met numerous people of various races and religious backgrounds who are opposed to vaccination. Their arguments are based on their distrust of medical science.

However, various medical papers have been published to affirm the socio-economic benefits of vaccination.

Furthermore, our current Religious Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, made a written Irsyad Al-Fatwa in 1995 when he was mufti of the Federal Territories on the Islamic perspective towards vaccines.

He concluded that based on various Hadith and Islamic scholarly discussions, vaccines prevent infection and should be used without hesitation.

DR AZUZAY ZAMANI

Ampang, Selangor

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