Malaysia: Govt to keep dangling carrot of vaccination but stick is not far behind – KJ

  • The government will continue to provide certain privileges to those who have received a complete Covid-19 vaccination to encourage more people into doing it voluntarily, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
  • However, Khairy warned that a strict approach is still not off the table, where he may suggest for Putrajaya to enforce a federal mandate that compels individuals to be inoculated against the coronavirus.
  • “I have not come to the stage where I would recommend to the cabinet a federal mandate, but I am not far from it though,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya.
  • Khairy, who has sworn in as the health minister four days ago, was answering a question regarding those who refuse to get vaccinated, whether they should be allowed to work with others in a physical workplace.
  • The question came as Khairy earlier assured parents that the government is trying to create a safe environment in schools by getting educators and support staff inoculated, to ensure a safer environment for students.
  • For now, Khairy said, the government maintains its policy of not making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory, but they encourage sectoral persuasion.
  • He said the ministry is also looking at other options to deal with those who refuse to get a vaccination.
  • This includes introducing a national testing policy, which requires those who refuse to get vaccinated to adhere to a certain testing schedule.
  • “So those who refuse to vaccinate will have a certain schedule and regime of testing they need to adhere to. We will come up with a policy, a national testing policy, to hopefully take into account those who refuse to be vaccinated,” he said.
  • On a related matter, Khairy said a committee of experts is expected to come up with their recommendations, by the end of Sep 21, on whether a booster dose for the Covid-19 vaccine is needed.

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