KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): The government may start imposing fines, and even resort to mandatory vaccination to ensure Malaysians do not skip their Covid-19 vaccination appointments, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was reported as saying yesterday.
The Health Ministry is in discussions with the National Security Council on this matter, the Malay Mail portal quoted Dr Adham as telling an online press conference.
This comes after reports emerged that more than 52,000 individuals across seven states have missed their appointments.
The report noted that the ministry also highlighted its concerns on the new Covid-19 variants that are emerging in the recent high number of positive cases.
According to Dr Adham, variants first detected in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, South Africa and India are already in the community.
Malaysia yesterday registered a new daily high Covid-19 infections of 7,857 — the third day in a row that infections have spiked — pushing the number of active cases to 69,408.
Utusan Malaysia yesterday reported that more than 50,000 individuals had missed their appointments nationwide, with Kedah registering more than 20,000 missed appointments.
Responding to this, Dr Adham said: “The public must realise this vaccine is free and its rollout is being done in stages. It is the Health Ministry's duty to obtain these vaccines and it has a delivery schedule.
“We get Pfizer from their own suppliers in Belgium, Sinovac is using Pharmaniaga for their fill-and-finish process, and AstraZeneca is from the Covac facility.
“We are also about to procure vaccines from Gamelaya Sputnik and CanSigno, which I believe will then speed up our vaccination roll out,” he said.
As such, the minister said the ministry felt that penalties and mandatory vaccination must be implemented once all voluntary avenues like online registration by MySejahtera or doing face-to-face appointments failed.
He also said that more vaccines are set to arrive in June and July and urged non-governmental organisations to help the government with outreach once these vaccines arrive, Malay Mail reported.
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