Students going abroad to study who are below 18 years old when they receive their vaccination appointments can still be vaccinated if their guardians sign consent forms, Malaysia’s National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister said on July 5.
Vaccination is a requirement for entry to countries where the students’ universities are located.
According to Khairy Jamaluddin, NIP coordinating minister, more than 8,000 vaccination appointments have already been issued to international students bound overseas, but concerns arise as some students have not turned 18 yet.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all people 12 years and older. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has issued age group recommendations for the use of vaccines.
For Pfizer-BioNTech, ages ≥12 years; for Moderna, ages ≥18 years; and for Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), ages ≥18 years. The CDC advises that children outside these authorized age groups should not receive vaccination for COVID-19 at this time.
Malaysia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy also identifies the age limit of 18 years, though the NIP states this will be evaluated from time to time. With this in consideration, the Government compels international students who would like to be inoculated to present a consent form signed by their parents or legal guardians.
The consent forms will be used to attest that the guardians understand the known and potential risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine and the extent to which such risks and benefits are unknown.
“We will be giving vaccinations to those who will turn 18 this year as they will be leaving for their studies. A condition that we set is that parents or guardians will have to sign consent forms,” Jamaluddin added.
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