Allow independent review of Revnesh Kumar to address hesitancy against Covid-19 vaccination among children

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Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

Today I stood up in Parliament to ask for the statistics of possible death directly linked to the Covid-19 vaccine as well as adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) of COVID-19 Vaccines in Malaysia.

I am all for vaccination and believe in the data and science behind it. However if we do not manage the perception and even counter the amount of fake news out there, the hesitancy will continue to be high. Right now, children vaccination in our country is around 34% which is still relatively low.

We have seen an increase an increase in the number of young Covid-19 patients in category 3 to 5 from March 1 nationwide including here in Sarawak.

These are hugely due to those unvaccinated and yet to be vaccinated. Child admission to the PICU ward due to Covid-19 infection increased by 94 per cent for categories 3 to 5, with a significant increase for category 4 by 200 per cent and category 5 by 125 per cent.

Children are now at greater risk of getting Covid-19 infection as those aged 11 and under have not received proper protection compared to the higher age group who have been vaccinated.

That is why many of the concerns have to be properly addressed including allowing an independent panel of experts to review the autopsy report of 13-year-old student Revnesh Kuma who passed away 3 weeks after the vaccine.

This will promote transparency and accountability as well and boost public confidence on the vaccine in hope it will improve the uptake especially among children.

The other important thing i raised up in Parliament thay the government must clarify is the decision by NPRA & Drug Control Authority (DCA) to extend the expiry date for the Sinovac & CansiNo stocks of vaccine currently used for an additional 6months after initial expiry date.

This of course raise certain concerns on the public taking what they perceived as expired vaccine. This of course caused hesitancy as well as the reason was not properly explained.

That is why i raised this matter not to increase hesitancy, but in order yo allay concerns, i believe clearer and more comprehensive explanation must be given to the public, including to parents and children who are receiving these batch of vaccines.

The Government must explain whether the extension will have any effects of the potency and effectiveness of the vaccine, safety and duration of coverage.

Again, i reiterate my call for all to get vaccinated and boosted, but the government must be transparent and explain their decisions clearly to boost public confidence in hope the uptake will then increase.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching