Long history of vaccination in schools


SCHOOL-BASED immunisation in Malaysia is part of a comprehensive School Health Programme (SHP) that was established in 1967. It was a joint programme between the Health (MOH) and Education (MOE) ministries and was initiated after some pilot testing. It was later incorporated into the Maternal and Child Health programme in 1971.

Eventually, a joint committee between MOH and MOE was established.

In 1995, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health-Promoting School concept was modified and adapted into the SHP to further strengthen the school-based health programme. Eventually, the Integrated School Health Programme (Program Bersepadu Sekolah Sihat) was launched in 1997.

Even WHO has acknowledged Malaysia’s school-based health programme. In a 2008 report titled “School Immunization Programme in Malaysia” (https://bit.ly/3jY32VK), it is noted that: “Incorporating school-based immunisation as part of a comprehensive school health programme seems to facilitate the acceptance of vaccination as multiple and non-threatening interactions take place between the members of the school health team and the pupils before immunizations are being given.”

Vaccination in Malaysian schools is well established with a strong track record. As such, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin should be able to rely on this as part of his ministry’s Covid-19 immunisation drive for schoolchildren.

HAFIZ HASSAN

Melaka

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