Health Ministry: More Than 400,000 Children In Malaysia Caught Covid-19 In 2021

This article first appeared on Borneo Post.

Summary
  • According to Dr Nik Khairulddin Nik Yusoff, an infectious diseases pediatrician working at Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru, the assumption that vaccinating adults would adequately protect children is false.
  • This is due to the Delta variant being the dominant variant, therefore, as of 20th September, adolescents from the ages 12 to 17 would undergo the vaccination program.

Health Ministry: More Than 400,000 Children In Malaysia Caught Covid-19 In 2021

A total of 410,762 children in Malaysia, aged 17 and below, contracted Covid-19 this year, compared to 12,620 children in 2020, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH). During a media sharing session today, MoH and its representatives said that due to the increasing trend of Covid-19 infections among children, the public should not assume that vaccinating adults will adequately protect children.

“I think it has to do with the Delta variant. We assume the Delta variant is (currently) the dominant variant,” said Dr Nik Khairulddin Nik Yusoff, an infectious diseases pediatrician working at Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru

“It is not enough to say that if we vaccinate enough adults, we are going to be protecting our children — not with this Delta variant that we are seeing right now,” he added.

Deputy Health director-general Datuk Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim, who was also present, said that new information surrounding the disease is pushing health experts to change their initial presumptions, such as that children will not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The experts were responding to a question on whether Malaysia will follow a trend seen in the United States where Covid-19 infection rates among children dropped in tandem with infection rates among adults.

A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a child during a rapid antigen testing campaign for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, November 20, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which initially only covered adults aged 18 above, started including adolescents from the ages 12 to 17 as of September 20.

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