KUALA TERENGGANU – Terengganu has recorded the second-lowest vaccination rate under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) since it was introduced in February.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said only 12.2 per cent (21,822) of children in the state have received their first dose as of yesterday.
“I would like to remind and make a sincere call to parents to please allow their children to get vaccinated because the vaccination percentage in Terengganu is the second-lowest in the country.
“So, please (allow the children to take the vaccine) because as parents it is their obligation to provide protection for their children,” he told reporters after officiating the launch of ‘Tahun Semarak Dakwah Negeri Terengganu’ here today.
According to the Health Ministry (MoH) records, the five states with the lowest PICKids vaccination percentage are Kelantan (9.8 per cent), Terengganu (12.2 per cent), Sabah (23.3 per cent), Kedah (23.5 per cent) and Perlis (25.3 per cent).
When asked the reasons given by parents who refused to give permission for their children to be vaccinated, he said, no comprehensive study has been done so far.
“But based on the responses received, parents worry about the side-effects from the vaccine on their children while others prefer to take the attitude of wait and see.
“Parents need not worry because the COVID-19 vaccine is similar to other vaccines like BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin). It is not new and has long been implemented. Why should the acceptance be different now,” he said.
Meanwhile, state health director Datuk Dr Kasemani Embong said a total of 178,700 children aged between five and 11 years old in Terengganu are eligible to receive the vaccine.
‘Besides that, out of the 309,842 individuals who have received the Sinovac vaccine only 172,581 individuals have taken their booster shots as of yesterday,” he added.