Immunisation screening at all schools to start in one month’s time, says health minister


PUTRAJAYA, July 20 — The immunisation screening to identify pupils who are left out from receiving comprehensive vaccination will be implemented at all primary schools in a month’s time.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the screening, to be held with cooperation from the Education Ministry, would start with the current Year Four and Five students.

“At the moment, it is estimated that there are 500,000 pupils across all years. We cannot disturb the Year Six students as they will sit for examination soon. So, we will start with those in Year Four and Five first.

“For the next three years, the screening will be conducted on Year Four pupils and after that, we will focus on Year One pupils. As such, we will ensure that that the present primary school students have received the comprehensive immunisation as set by the ministry,” he told a press conference here today.

He added that his ministry was now in talks with the Education Ministry in providing the necessary to conduct the screening process.

Dr Subramaniam said as for secondary school students, the Education Ministry was asked to crosscheck vaccination records on Form One students for the time being.

“At the moment, Form One female students are given human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines. So, this opportunity can be used to see their records and checks will also be conducted on male students’ records.

“The screening at school level is the most proactive (method) as it is difficult to carry out this programme on the general community,” he said, adding that parents would be asked to present immunisation records of their children.

Those who are found to have incomplete vaccination would be advised to take one whether at school or hospital, he said.

Dr Subramaniam also said about 1,500 parents who refused to have their children vaccinated would be given counselling using both scientific and religious approach.

Commenting on a case of a 41-year-old woman from Rembau, Negri Sembilan who tested positive for diphtheria, he said the ministry had yet to decide whether to make it compulsory for those with diabetes, cancer and Hepatitis B to get diphtheria vaccine. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail