The government will monitor closely the activities of a particular group that is spreading propaganda regarding the Covid-19 vaccine through social media so as to prevent it from influencing public perception, said Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Ahmad Amzad Hashim.
He said the ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), was studying the need to create certain laws to curb the matter.
“The government had previously set up the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee and, through it, a sub-committee on communications was formed to draft a strategic communication plan to present accurate facts and information on Covid-19 to the people.
“The committee also identifies the various categories of people’s level of confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine, including that of the anti-vaccine minority group as it’s very difficult to change the perception of this group of people,” he told the Dewan Negara today.
He was replying to a question from Senator Muhammad Zahid Md Arip on the government’s actions to address the anti-vaccine propaganda and measures taken to educate the public on the importance to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
The second category, he said, made up the biggest group in the country, comprising people who are confident of the importance of the vaccine and are not easily influenced by the anti-vaccine propaganda.
The third category is called the ‘vaccine hesitancy group’, comprising people who have doubts about the vaccine but who do not reject it directly either.
Ahmad Amzad said this was the group that could be easily influenced when exposed to messages and propaganda spread by the anti-vaccine group.
“As such, the government is actively implementing proactive communication strategies, through various platforms and communication mediums, to provide a clear explanation to the people regarding the importance of taking the Covid-19 vaccine, which the country expects to obtain by the first quarter of next year.
“To ensure that the message is disseminated comprehensively, the communication plan that is being drafted will also involve various community groups, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), religious people, community heads as well as the private sector,” he said.
He said this included the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) so as to provide information on the vaccine from the point of view of Islamic law, including the halal status which is the main concern of Muslims in the country. ― Bernama via Malay Mail
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