Dr Yii urges govt to educate public on need for vaccination

Dr Kelvin Yii

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Feb 23: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has urged the government to educate the public and community leaders on the importance of vaccination.

Dr Yii in a statement said everyone can become “information frontliners” to disseminate the right information supported by science and data to the community on the benefits of vaccination.

“Even though the first batch of the Pfizer vaccine has already arrived in Malaysia on February 21, but the vaccine itself won’t save lives, but vaccination will.

“That is why the real work starts to make sure that the vaccine is properly inoculated (sic) into the people that needs it in order to give us all some form of protection against this deadly disease.

“For that to happen, proper and effective communications and education is very important.

“This basic domain of public health plays a critical role in any public health crisis as it allows the public to understand the policies and operations of the government.

“The vaccine confidence campaign is so important to convince the Malaysian public that the Covid-19 vaccines that will soon be distributed are safe and effective.

“The rakyat should be kept well informed of the efficacy, safety, high quality and permissibility of the vaccines.

“This would help to improve vaccine confidence and acceptance especially among the vaccine hesitant individuals,” he said in the statement.

Dr Yii added if the public do not understand or do not have enough information about the vaccine, they may be skeptical about getting vaccinated.

He also said the government cannot assume that the public or even the frontliners are already convinced that they should take whatever vaccine which will be made available to them.

With plenty of information around especially in this digital age of disseminating information using social media and WhatsApp, Dr Yii expressed concern that certain groups might spread certain propaganda or even misinformation to cast doubts on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

“In the event we get a message or video that spread wrong information on WhatsApp or social media, we can properly counter them and educate the people around us on the benefits of the vaccine,” he added.

Thus, Dr Yii called on the federal government to work closely with all state governments to ramp up “Covid-19 Vaccination Education” and put in place a comprehensive vaccine confidence campaign in order to address vaccine hesitancy and even misinformation regarding the vaccine.

Apart from that, Dr Yii said community leaders including Tuai Rumah, Ketua Kampung, Kapitan, Village Development and Security Committees (JKKKs), and even leaders in neighbourhood watchdog groups (KRTs) play important roles to spread the right message to the community including in community WhatsApp chats or social media. — DayakDaily