Malaysia has made vaccination mandatory for all federal civil servants ahead of the country’s economic reopening in October. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action, according to the Public Service Department (PSD), while exemptions can only be granted based on medical grounds. “All Federal Civil Service officers are requested to immediately complete their vaccinations by November 1, 2021,” said the PSD on their official Facebook page.
Nearly 98% of civil servants were already vaccinated. The remaining 1.6% or 16,902 unvaccinated workers are required to follow suit by getting their jabs from vaccination centers set up by the government. Malaysia has around 1.6 million public servants.
The mandate also comes to boost vaccination rates with the aim of 80% vaccinated population by the end of the year. On September 29, the Health Ministry debunked a claim in a viral video claiming that five teenagers had died after being vaccinated. As reported by MalayMail, a video was circulated on social media, showing an activist publicly claiming that the Covid-19 vaccine had taken the lives of five teenagers in Perak, Sabah, and an undisclosed location.
Commenting on this, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the unnamed woman had “flat out lied”. The health ministry said that the two teenagers who had died in the state of Perak were both in fact unvaccinated. Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr. Noor Azmi Ghazali also stressed that disseminating unverified information to the public was an irresponsible act and warned those who made public statements to face consequences for their action.
The PSD said the new mandate seeks to help the public gain confidence in the jabs and is also in line with the government’s plan to reopen the country’s economy to its optimum capacity. Despite the ruckus, Malaysia has been praised worldwide for having one of the highest vaccination rates across Southeast Asia. According to Channel News Asia, 61% of its 32 million population are already fully immunized against COVID-19.