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KUCHING, March 17: A Sarawakian MP wants the government to release statistics of possible deaths directly linked to Covid-19 vaccinations as well adverse events following individuals receiving their Covid-19 vaccination in Malaysia.
Expressing his support for vaccinations and his trust in data and science, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said if Malaysia did not manage perception and fake news properly, vaccine hesitancy will continue to be high.
“Right now, children’s vaccination in our country is around 34 per cent which is still relatively low.
“We have seen an increase in the number of young Covid-19 patients in Categories 3 to 5 from March 1 nationwide including here in Sarawak. These are hugely due to those unvaccinated and yet to be vaccinated.
“Child admission to the PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) ward due to Covid-19 infection increased by 94 per cent for Categories 3 to 5, with a significant increase for Category 4 of 200 per cent and in Category 5 by 125 per cent,” said Dr Yii.
He said children are now at greater risk of getting Covid-19 infections as those aged 11 and under have not received proper protection compared to the higher age group who have been vaccinated.
He asserted many of the concerns have to be properly addressed including allowing an independent panel of experts to review the autopsy report of 13-year-old student Revnesh Kuma who passed away three weeks after getting vaccinated.
“This will promote transparency and accountability as well and boost public confidence in the vaccine in the hope it will improve the uptake especially among children,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.
Meanwhile, he also asserted that the government must clarify the decision by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency and Drug Control Authority (DCA) to extend the expiry date for Sinovac and CanSino stocks of vaccine currently in use for an additional six months after their initial expiry date.
He noted this had raised concerns among the public who perceived them as expired vaccines and thus caused hesitancy.
The Bandar Kuching MP explained that he raised these issues not to increase hesitancy, but rather to allay concerns as he believed clearer and more comprehensive explanations must be given to the public, including to parents and children who are receiving vaccines from this batch.
“The government must explain whether the extension (of the expiry dates) will have any effect on the potency and effectiveness of the vaccine, safety and duration of coverage,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily