YB Health Minister Intervention Note for Measles and Rubella Elimination at 68th WPRO RCM, Brisbane, Australia

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“Malaysia takes note of the document on Measles and Rubella Elimination in the Western Pacific: Regional Strategy and Plan of Action.

Malaysia has good immunization program and measles immunization coverage more than 95%, but there is still immunity gap in the community causing outbreaks. In 2013, we noted an increase number of measles cases with 50% of the cases were unvaccinated. In 2016, we noted more than 1,500 children were denied immunization by their parents. We evaluated these cases and noted that they came from urban area with educated parents. Other reasons for refusing vaccines were misguided religious conception, and unreasonable worry of the vaccines side effect including the perception that still lingered in their mind following an old article on autism-related-measles vaccine. Another reason is homeopathic practice.

Thus, there is a necessity for WHO to give the correct messages, so the issues on vaccine refusal won’t reach an unmanageable level not only to Malaysia, but to the world. So it won’t disrupt the good effort that countries have done on immunisation.”

-Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam, Minister of Health Malaysia

10th October 2017, 68th WPRO RCM, Brisbane, Australia.

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