KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced changes to the National Immunisation Schedule for Children which is being implemented in stages beginning early this month.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the combination of five vaccine series – diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-polio-Haemophilus influenza type b (pentavalent DTaP-IPP//Hib) – would be replaced with a six-series vaccination programme.
“The new vaccine series covers six diseases, namely diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (hexavalent DTaP-IPV-HepB-Hib)
“A total of four doses will be given to children at the age of two months, three months, five months, and 18 months.
“The Hepatitis B vaccine that is administered after birth will continue but doses given at one month and six months will no longer be required since the Hepatitis B vaccine component has been included in the six series vaccination programme,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Noor Hisham said the new immunisation schedule would see children getting fewer injections namely five instead of seven previously.
“However, parents still need to take their children to healthcare facilities for observation as stated in the Baby and Child’s Health Record Book (0-6 years),” he said.
Elaborating, Dr Noor Hisham said the six series vaccination programme is effective and safe with its adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) is monitored by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA).
He said private health facilities in the country have been using the six series vaccination programme since 2013 and no serious safety issues have been reported.
“However, it is a new vaccination programme under the National Immunisation Programme at MOH facilities. As such, MOH will carry out AEFI observation on every child after each dosage,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham advised parents to report any adverse effect experienced by their child to healthcare personnel after each injection by returning the reporting form or lodge the matter directly to NPRA via npra.gov.my.
Those with questions on the new immunisation schedule can contact MOH at 03-8883 4042/ 03-8883 4504 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or visit the nearest public health clinic for further information.