SIBU (Nov 23): The Ministry of Health (MOH) should heed public opinion in combating Covid-19, especially with regard to booster vaccination, said Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Dato Seri Tiong King Sing.
He added that the people should be allowed to choose the booster vaccine shot of their choice, instead of being forced to accept what was chosen for them.
“Do not treat the people like lab rats! The people should retain their right to choose the type of booster they want, especially after they have received their initial two doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine,” he said in a media statement today.
Tiong said if those who were initially vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine want to receive Sinovac booster shots, there is no reason why MOH should force them to accept the Pfizer booster.
He said the recommendations of the Health Director General Tan Sri Noor Hisham should be taken without any questioning.
“It is well known by now that he is not a trained public health practitioner. If the people cannot have full confidence in the MOH, should it conduct a serious review of itself?
Has the MOH even sought the advice of China’s pandemic experts or the experience of experts in public health? Or is the Ministry happy to be a ‘jaguh kampung’ as always and continue to toy with the people’s lives?”
Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, was skeptical the MOH would take responsibility should the people suffer side effects from the booster they did not choose.
“Or does it intend to use the people’s comorbidities to shirk its responsibility when errors or misjudgment occur in the pandemic prevention efforts?
MOH has never taken responsibility for them but insists that the problem still lies with the people.”
Tiong was also left perplexed by the Government’s choice to only provide Pfizer booster shots but allow Sinovac boosters only in designated private medical centres.
“Sinovac boosters are still in the slow process of being approved by the Drug Control Authority (DCA). However, the approval for the Pfizer booster was surprisingly fast.”
He said the pandemic had plagued the people for a long time now but MOH has never reviewed its past performance and its red tape is still hindering the efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.