INTERACTIVE: Here’s what vaccinating Malaysian children against Covid-19 could involve

INTERACTIVE: Here's what vaccinating Malaysian children against Covid-19 could involve

9/6/2021 2:01:00 AM

INTERACTIVE: Here's what vaccinating Malaysian children against Covid-19 could involve

Malaysia is studying whether to include children in its national Covid-19 vaccination plan and may announce its decision soon. We look at what this would entail.

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The current plan currently only covers those aged 18 and above, but a growing number of other countries have already started to vaccinate children.The government is currently studying whether Malaysia should follow suit. If the country were to decide to vaccinate its children, what would it involve?

According to the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme document, Malaysia currently aims to vaccinate at least 23.6 million people aged 18 and above.Calculations based on the most recent available figures show that vaccinating children aged 12 and above, as several other countries have done, would raise the number vaccinated to at least 26.25 million people.

With Malaysia's population currently estimated at 32.77 million according to the Statistic Department's online population clock (, vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds could, in theory, help Malaysia meet its aim of covering up to 80% of its population.

A population vaccination coverage of 80% is often mentioned by experts as a minimum estimate for a country to achieve herd immunity from Covid-19, though there is no exact figure.“Although no one is certain of the percentage of the population required to be vaccinated before we can hinder the spread of Covid-19 in the community, we do know that this will be difficult without vaccinating children,” senior consultant pediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh HSS wrote in an article published by the MySinChew news portal.

More than three million children in Malaysia aged between 12 and 17 would get vaccinated if the government decides to include the age group.According to the Children Statistics 2020 report, there were an estimated 2.65 million children who are aged 13-17 as of last year (2020).

Those aged 7-12 meanwhile total 3.01 million, according to the report released by the department.Selangor had the biggest number of 13- to 17-year-olds as of last year, with about 475,800 followed by Sabah (374,500), Johor (303,400), Sarawak (246,100) and Perak (202,600).

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Among the countries which have reportedly begun vaccinating children or have approved jabs for children 12 and above are Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Britain and the United States. Read more: The Star »

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