Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today shot back at an accusation by Anwar Ibrahim that authorities have not been providing sufficient information to convince those who choose not to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“To claim that the government has not been giving enough information on the vaccine is not true. From the very beginning, we have presented all of the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines. And we continue to explain,” Khairy said in a Twitter reply to claims by the Pakatan Harapan chairman.
Anwar had said that those who are against vaccination had sometimes presented “a strong case” to back their argument, and suggested that the government had not effectively addressed their claims.
“Sometimes their case is strong, too. They bring scientific papers. We must respond by giving scientific papers which are stronger and more credible to dispel their argument,” Anwar said.
He also said the government had instead resorted to threats and punitive action against those opposed to vaccination.
However, Khairy rejected this claim.
“I’m sorry I have to be firm on this issue. Call me dajjal or whatever,” he said, using a term to denote evil.
Malaysia’s vaccination drive, known as the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, was launched on Feb 24.
The campaign to vaccinate adolescents meanwhile began on Sept 8.
As of yesterday, nearly 94% of adults in the country had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
On Sept 30, Putrajaya announced that vaccine jabs would be made mandatory for civil servants, with action to be taken against those who continue to resist after the Nov 1 deadline.
Over 98% of civil servants had been fully vaccinated as of Oct 12.
Khairy previously said that the government would pursue a vigorous approach towards those who refuse to be vaccinated, whom he warned would find life difficult as more and more sectors are reopened to those who have been fully inoculated.
“Sorry to say, if you are not vaccinated because you choose not to be vaccinated, then we will make life very difficult for you and continue to make life difficult for you,” he said.
However, he said those who cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons will be fine as they will be provided with digital exemption on MySejahtera.