MOH planning to give TDAP vaccine to pregnant mothers

MOH planning to give TDAP vaccine to pregnant mothers

UALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (MOH) is planning to introduce the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (TDAP) vaccine to pregnant women to reduce the diseases in newborn babies.

Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said the National Immunisation Programme introduced by the government in the 1950s initially provided vaccines to protect children from two types of diseases, namely diphtheria and tetanus.

According to him, due to the MOH’s desire to protect children from dangerous and deadly diseases, more vaccines have been added under the National Immunisation Programme to date.

“MOH is aware that the incidence of whooping cough (pertussis) is high among newborns who are not yet old enough to receive the TDAP vaccine at the age of two months.

“The health of mothers and babies is so important that it has become one of the benchmarks for developing countries. For decades, the Malaysian government has focused on the survival and health of mothers and children,“ he said when officiating at a media forum session entitled ‘Suntikan Kasih Ibu dan Bayi’’ virtually, yesterday in conjunction with World Immunisation Week.

Meanwhile, Khairy said Malaysia has successfully brought down the maternal mortality ratio significantly to 91.6 per cent in 2018 (23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births) compared to 280 per 100,000 live births in 1957.

The mortality ratio of children under five years dropped significantly with a decrease of as much as 90.2 per cent in 2020 that is 6.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births compared to 70.2 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 1965.

Meanwhile, Khairy said in a statement that till now there are 11 types of vaccines to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) under the National Immunisation Programme. These vaccines are for tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

“Until now, too, all these vaccines given by the government for all children in Malaysia are from birth to 15 years old.

“Besides that, the MOH also provides vaccines to pregnant women to prevent dental caries, the influenza vaccine for frontline health workers as well as the meningococcal vaccine for pilgrims,“ ​​he also said.

Khairy added that there were also several types of vaccines given for at-risk age groups and certain other conditions in MOH hospitals.

According to him, even with the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic followed by the Movement Control Order nationwide, especially in 2020 and 2021, the MOH will continue with its immunisation services because it is aware of the importance of vaccines for infants and children in preventing infectious diseases. — Bernama