SEMPORNA: The Health Ministry (MOH) is tracing cases of babies and children dropping out of immunisation during the movement control order (MCO) to reschedule the required jabs, says Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
He said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic caused the number of children to get various immunisations at health clinics to decline then, as parents were worried about the spread of Covid-19 leading to skipping the appointment date.
“All parents and guardians are advised to check their children’s immunisation records, if they have missed any immunisation, to get a new appointment at the health clinic.
“If parents or guardians are not sure whether their children have missed any immunisation, they can contact or go directly to the nearest health clinic to check their immunisation records,” he said when speaking at the opening of the National Immunisation Week 2022 here on Thursday (June 16).
According to Noor Azmi under the National Immunisation Programme for infants and children, there are 11 types of vaccines given to prevent 13 diseases including Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus (Lockjaw), Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
In the meantime, Noor Azmi said the Health Ministry planned to hold an Immunisation Tour according to zones by the end of this year to improve the achievement of immunisation coverage and increase general knowledge about immunisation and vaccines.
On the National Immunisation Week celebration, he said free Covid-19 jabs under National Children’s Immunisation Programme (PICKids) for children aged 5 to 11 would be dispensed for five days from June 20 to 24 by walking -in to health clinics in every state.
Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said more than 795,000 children under 15 in Sabah had received complete vaccinations for various types of vaccines through the National Immunisation Programme, but an estimated 79,000 children have dropped out.
“Therefore, the Sabah Health Department in collaboration with other agencies will continue to provide immunisations until the number of children who have dropped out of the vaccine is at a minimum,” she added.
At today’s ceremony, two staff of Pagalungan Health Clinic, Mohd Qayyum Saiman and Mohd Shazwi Manglun were given certificates of appreciation for their efforts to save a supply of polio vaccine after being involved in a boat capsize in Sungai Pagalungan on July 10, 2020.
Mohd Qayyum, 22, when met, said that the department boat which was operated with, together with Mohd Shazwi from Salong, was carrying polio vaccine capsized in Sungai Pagalungan when it was hit by a falling tree.
“When the boat capsized in swift river water, we just thought of rescuing the vaccine which could save others,” he added.
At the ceremony, the Sarawak Health Department also received the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Special Award for achieving the highest average coverage for each district apart from achieving booster dose coverage exceeding 73%, including rural districts.
Sarawak also has the highest coverage for PICKids, as it is the only state with a first dose coverage of over 90%. – Bernama