PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has urged Malaysians to support the national Covid-19 immunisation programme that will start at the end of this month in order to help the economy recover.
Mr Khairy gave his assurance that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and has been tested on tens of thousands of recipients before being approved, and asked Malaysians not to listen to conspiracy theories.
"Millions of people around the world are beginning to receive their injections. There is no evidence that these vaccines are harmful to their lives or health.
"This vaccine will not change the DNA of the recipient. This vaccine does not contain microchips to take over our thinking," he said.
He also rubbished claims that the vaccine is part of an Illuminati agenda to establish a "New World Order".
"This vaccine is produced by science.
"We must be confident in science and not conspiracy theories in family WhatsApp groups or housing communities citing fake sources. Science must win," he said in a statement on Sunday (Feb 14).
Mr Khairy, who also describes himself as Coordinating Minister for Covid-19 Immunisation on his Twitter account, said the vaccine will help reduce Covid-19 cases, as well as the number of deaths and severe cases.
"When infection decreases, more economic and social activities can be carried out without too strict restrictions.
"Countries that have launched the Covid-19 immunisation programme have begun to show positive economic recoveries," he said, noting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects global economy to improve at a rate of 5.5 per cent this year.
"The World Bank predicts that the Malaysian economy will grow at a rate of 6.7 per cent by 2021, but this depends on the effectiveness of the immunisation programme, the country's export position and the level of investment in Malaysia," he said.
Malaysia on Saturday logged 3,499 Covid-19 cases to bring the cumulative total to 261,805.
There were five fatalities in the same 24-hour period to raise the death toll to 958.
Mr Khairy said the successful implementation of the national Covid-19 immunisation programme is important to ensure that the prediction can be achieved and more economic activities can be reopened.
"For example, when the country's borders reopen, severely affected sectors such as aviation and tourism will be able to resume operations.
"Similarly, factories that can operate without risk should be closed due to the infection of fellow workers.
"A continuous economic chain will enable the economic cycle to run smoothly, which benefits not only the country, but also the daily lives of the people," he said.
The minister urged people to immediately register for the vaccination when the time comes to allow group immunity to be accelerated, which will in turn expedite the economic recovery process.