Soo: Sarawakian children should not be ‘experimental subjects’ for Covid-19 vaccine

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Sept 23: Sarawakian children aged 12 to 15-years-old should not be used as “experiment subjects” for the ongoing clinical study of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, said Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo.

According to Soo, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is still under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for children aged 12 to 15-years-old.

“This means the vaccine is still an experimental drug undergoing clinical studies and Sarawak’s children should not be part of the ongoing study,” she said in a statement today.


Soo explained she agreed with the call by Dr Tan Cheng Siang, Associate Professor in Virology of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences UNIMAS, which was published in a local English daily recently, cautioning the government in the rollout for third Covid-19 booster shots.

She said that Dr Tan had stated that the best way to determine if an individual requires a third booster shot is through a quantitative antibody test, which measures the amount of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and had proposed that the booster shot be given only to those with proven low antibody levels.

“The application for a third vaccine shot and vaccination for children aged 12 and above must be evidence-based and science-based, and not bowing down to the hegemony of the pharmaceutical giants who control the vaccine industry for profit,” she added.

Soo also pointed out that according to Dr Tan, those who have recovered from natural infections may have already developed antibodies and acquired natural immunity.

She said studies have shown that those with naturally acquired immunity through exposure to Covid-19 have thirteen times greater immunity to Covid-19 and its variants such as Delta, and it is possible a section of the population may have already acquired natural immunity through exposure to the virus in these 18 months.

“Dr Tan had also highlighted vaccine-related adverse reactions such as myocarditis and thrombosis associated with some vaccine types and noted that the safety data on the administration of the third dose is weak and warrants close monitoring.

“I agree with this observation and believed that reporting on vaccine adverse events needs to be transparent, judiciously recorded and critically analysed,” she said.

Meanwhile, Soo also welcomes the Education Ministry’s statement by Deputy Education Minister Dr Mah Hang Soon saying that children not vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be refused entry to school as every child has the right to an education.

“I believe parental full informed consent, weighing the risk-reward ratio is paramount in the rollout to the government’s programme to vaccinate 3.2 million teenagers by year’s end,” she said. — DayakDaily