PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has clarified that vaccination for children will not be made compulsory for the time being.
“We are not forcing parents to give or complete vaccinations for their children now.
"But we do recommend that parents protect their children from any diseases that could befall a child through vaccinations,” she told reporters today.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said her ministry is in talks with the Health Ministry and its minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad on ways to encourage more parents to get their children vaccinated.
“We can’t still entertain anecdotal problems that vaccinations could lead to autism.
“We have evidence that vaccinations will prevent diseases,” she added.
Previously, Dr Wan Azizah said the government is tabling a proposal and policy to make immunisation vaccination compulsory.
Yesterday (Wednesday), however, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the Education Ministry will not impose any restriction on students who have yet to be vaccinated from entering schools.
He had said while vaccination was important, immunisation and children’s right to education were separate issues.
Earlier, Dr Wan Azizah visitedSekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 9(2), where she handed out the new Persons With Disabilities (OKU) cards to students under the Special Education Programs Integration (PPKI).
The new card categorises students under six subcategories, namely Global Development Delay, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism and Intellectual or Specific Learning Disability.
Dr Wan Azizah said this classification would enable teachers to identify students and manage them according to their specific abilities.
“This would also enable OKU students to get intervention and management in a specific and systematic manner,” she added.
On the death of three-year-old Nur Aisyah Aleya Abdullah in Langkawi, Kedah, Dr Wan Azizah said the incident was a tragedy.
“Based on the reports I read, the girl had apparently suffered from fits during a bath and that caused the caretaker to panic and resort to leaving the child's body in a ravine.
“This cannot be our culture. There is a problem in our culture. (How can) we leave behind a child just like that when we panic?” she added.