CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN COVID-19 VACCINE
28 JAN 2021
KUALA LUMPUR: With only a month left before the government’s intended COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Malaysian Health Coalition calls for the government to strengthen public confidence in vaccines.
The coalition, in a statement today, said there is still much to be done and urgent attention needs to be given to strengthening public confidence in this dire times, as anti-vaccine narratives, conspiracy theories and false information run rampant on social media and in chat groups.
“The government must engage with all levels of society to rapidly increase public education on vaccines and combat misinformation.
“We also urge non-government stakeholders such as the media, academics, businesses, religious authorities and civil society organisations to do their part in ensuring that only evidence-based information on vaccines is published and shared,” it said.
The coalition also suggested the government to prioritise the most vulnerable populations and build a long-term vaccine manufacturing capability.
It said care home residents are among the frailest in the population, therefore, this group must be given priority in the vaccination delivery schedule, along with the care home workers as well as other vulnerable populations, including those significantly disabled, migrant workers and refugees.
On the long-term vaccine manufacturing capability, it said the government must seize the opportunity to develop infrastructure for long-term vaccine capability in Malaysia, which includes the end-to-end development from world-class scientific research to manufacturing and international distribution.
“These are ambitious but achievable goals as Malaysia is already equipped with high calibre human and technological resources.
“This will reduce Malaysia’s reliance on foreign manufacturers. Moreover, a domestic vaccine and pharmaceutical infrastructure will have far-reaching, positive ripple effects on our economy and global standing,” it added. -Bernama