Malaysia plans to nip vaccine hesitancy in the bud by promising tough action against those who refuse to take Covid-19 shots without a valid reason.The country’s health ministry will be introducing a new plan under its National Testing Strategy which will explain the actions that the government will take against those who are not inoculated against Covid-19.
The Straits Times quoted by, “Sorry to say, we will make life very difficult for you if you’re not vaccinated by choice,” health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.Without giving away much of the upcoming new rules, Jamaluddin remarked that Malaysians who choose not to get vaccinated may well have to pay for regular mandatory Covid-19 tests.
Covid-19 vaccination is not compulsory in Malaysia, unvaccinated individuals will lose out on many privileges. The new rules will go beyond imposing restrictions for praying at mosques, dining out or visiting shopping centers, Jamaluddin mentioned.
Sectoral mandates may be imposed; for instance, it may become mandatory for teachers, civil servants and even private sector office workers to get vaccinated. Jamaluddin said the government has explained and will continue to stress on the effectiveness of vaccines. “I am sorry that I have to be firm on this issue,” he said.
According to Malaysia’s official COVIDNOW data, around 70.2 % of the adult population is fully vaccinated, while 77.3 % have been administered at least one dose till date. The country has recorded a total of 2,390,687 Covid-19 cases and 27,921 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Those who have genuine medical reasons for not taking the vaccine can get exemptions from the Health Ministry’s MySejahtera app. The government will also soon start accepting applications for those who need a particular booster shot in order to travel to another country.