Double vaccinations safe, says ministry
PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry yesterday refuted a recent front page report in The Star newspaper that claimed it had directed all health clinics to avoid giving babies double vaccinations.
Its deputy director-general Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the ministry had not issued such a directive to health practitioners.
He said his response to several questions on the issue had been misinterpreted, leading to confusion.
The ministry’s Disease Control Division head Dr Rohani Jahis said vaccinations do not cause autism and even if a child is given two vaccinations on the same day, the only side effect would be pain.
She said the aluminium adjuvants in the vaccines are extremely low as it is produced in accordance with World Health Organisation recommendations, adding that parents need not worry as vaccinations recommended by the ministry for newborns and children are safe.
“The only side effect will be pain as the child will be jabbed twice and of course, the other potential side effects that are listed in the vaccines’ packaging,” Rohani said in response to the newspaper report on fears over a possible link between double vaccinations and autism among children. The report also stated that a study by the ministry showed no such link.
According to the United States Centre for Disease Control, some of the mild side effects include headaches, upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain, abdominal pain, cough, nausea, diarrhoea and fever.
Rare and more serious side effects have been reported in about one person in 100, within six months of vaccination.
These include blood in the urine or stool, pneumonia and inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
“The vaccines go through rigorous testing. The negative side effects are rare. All the vaccines are produced in developed countries like the US, UK or Australia, and they meet international standards,” Rohani said.