Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Malaysia - Health Minister: Measles cases on the rise due to anti-vaccine movement
PUTRAJAYA, April 23 — The number of measles cases in the country has increased due to resistance from the anti-vaccine movement to reject immunisation for fear the vaccine contains pig DNA.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said this was indicated by the increase in cases from 235 in 2014, to 1,402 cases last year. He said this also affected Malaysia aspiration of achieving its goal of being measles free, in line with neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.
“However, the Ministry of Health will not give up and continue to educate, and provide correct information and explanation on vaccines and immunisation for infants and children,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 2016 National Immunisation Week Celebration here, today.
Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah launched the celebration themed “Protect Our Children, Protect Their World, Get Immunised ‘.
Dr Subramaniam said the the rise in the rejection rate on vaccination was due to the many ‘online doctors’ who gave inaccurate information, influencing young mothers by saying the vaccine was non-halal and had undesirable side-effects, while promoting the use of traditional medicine which were deemed to be much safer.
The Measles vaccine is given to children in two doses (at nine and 12 months) under the National Immunisation Schedule.