MoH warns of worrying increase in Covid-19 cases among children

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): The Ministry of Health (MoH) in a statement today warned of a worrying trend of rising Covid-19 infections among children, with 67 deaths reported among those aged below 18 years this year, compared with just six deaths last year.

As such, the ministry is now aiming to have 60% of teenagers aged 12 to 17 years get at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by November, and for 80% of those eligible to be vaccinated to be fully inoculated before schools reopen for the 2022 session, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

"The Drug Control Authority has given conditional approval to all adolescent children who have reached the age of 12 years and above to be vaccinated. Hence, parents and guardians are advised to register their eligible children through their respective educational institutions and through the MySejahtera application immediately," Dr Noor Hisham said.

He added the benefits of Covid-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks of getting an infection.

The ministry also reminded parents to monitor early coronavirus symptoms among children, such as chest pain, difficulty of breathing or fast heartbeats after their children receive vaccination, and to immediately get medical assessment if one of these symptoms shows up.

It also stressed that children should not take part in any vigorous exercises or activities for a week after receiving vaccination.

"Should parents and guardians have any questions about the Covid-19 mass immunisation for adolescents, they are advised to consult a paediatrician or a qualified medical officer for more information," the Health DG said.

Meanwhile, the ministry shared that institutions of education, protection, rehabilitation for young detainees are required to register their respective institutions through vaksinanakku.herokuapp.com portal to enable vaccination appointments to be made by the district health office for children under these institutions.

For children outside these institutions, vaccination registration via the MySejahtera app is required, he said.

Malaysia's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency has only approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.

Tan Choe Choe