Kazakh Minister of Health: vaccination will not be compulsory
On Thursday, May 14, Lower Chamber of Parliament (Mazhilis) gave second reading approval to the draft law “On people’s health and healthcare system,” Toppress.kz correspondent reports.
Health Minister Yelzhan Birtanov commented on the approval of the draft Health Code and vaccinating children. In his words, not a single legislative act in healthcare has previously been discussed in such an open and wide-ranging manner. Thus, 42 meetings of the working group and 11 public discussions took place in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and other regions resulting in more than 1,000 amendments.
“I would like to touch upon vaccination in particular. Recently, there were heated discussions on social media regarding mandatory vaccination with stories about low-quality vaccines, unfair procurement and improper transportation of vaccines, medical difficulties, and an allegedly huge number of those refusing to be vaccinated. I should say this is pure manipulation of public opinion. Vaccination in Kazakhstan has never been and will not be forced! As in other countries of the world, there will be voluntary and compulsory vaccination in our country. But in each case, parents’ right to informed consent or refusal of vaccination will remain valid,” the minister said.
Minister Birtanov stressed 4.8 million children were vaccinated in Kazakhstan in 2019 with only 6,003 vaccine refusals (0.12 percent). He noted that each vaccine in Kazakhstan undergoes a multi-stage test for safety, efficacy and quality, which complies with the international standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP). Laboratory studies are being carried out, and the history of preclinical and clinical studies is checked, along with the epidemiological effectiveness of the vaccine, he concluded.