KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — With plans to vaccinate students and young children still in the pipeline, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today reassured parents by giving his commitment that his ministry will ensure their children study in an environment surrounded by fully vaccinated adults.
“My reassurance to parents is since we cannot vaccinate those under 12 years of age, we are doing our best to make sure teachers working in schools, those working in the canteens, clerical staff, security guards and even bus drivers are vaccinated.
“This is to ensure that the environment itself is among those who are vaccinated,” he said during his first press conference in his new portfolio today.
He said that around 83 per cent of more than 412,000 teachers nationwide are fully vaccinated, with 96.5 per cent having received at least their first dose.
He added that 68.8 per cent of schools’ supporting staff are fully vaccinated.
“So we are trying to make schools as safe as possible. Hopefully, we aim to achieve 100 per cent of teachers vaccinated.
“However, there are some who are anti-vaxxers. As for them, I will ask them to go and meet the Johor Crown Prince,” he quipped.
Khairy was referring to a recent audience held between Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the Johor Education Department director and 779 teachers who have yet to be vaccinated.
Tunku Ismail had said 396 of the teachers expressed doubts about the vaccine, with the remainder opting to delay their vaccine appointments due to health reasons, allergies or pregnancies.
Additionally, Khairy said how there are still no plans to begin paediatric vaccination drives, saying the only current exception for students is the voluntary drive for adolescents suffering from comorbidities who are at a higher risk of developing serious symptoms from Covid-19.