Vaccines work by introducing a weakened or dead form of either the bacteria or virus (known as the antigen). This vaccine encourages the body to create antibodies against this antigen so that when the person is exposed to the infection, the body is able to fight the infection quickly without being affected too severely by the illness. In short, vaccines prepares the body to fight the disease in case the person gets infected in the future.

Source: M Klingensmith

Although there may be some side effects during the vaccination, the benefits outweigh them. In 2018, it was reported that in Malaysia, there were:

  • 6 deaths from measles (none of them receive vaccination)
  • 5 deaths from diphtheria (4 of them did not receive vaccination)
  • 22 deaths from pertussis (19 of them did not receive vaccination)

Reference: Star News Malaysia 22 Jan 2019

Do read the link below on how a lecturer had ‘wished his parents had him vaccinated’ as a baby but instead contracted polio at the age of 18 months and lost his ability to walk properly since then.


Download Teleme’s mobile app and ask any health questions



This is the recommended vaccination schedule for children in Malaysia. Do share this article with your friends with young children to keep as reference and useful reminder.

Explanation Notes

  • Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), vaccine that gives protection against tuberculosis
  • DTaP is the combination of diphtheria(D), tetanus(T) and accelullar pertussis (aP)
  • DT is a booster dose which protects against diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T)
  • Hib is Haemophilus Influenza type B
  • MMR is the combination of Measles(M), Mumps(M) and Rubella(R)
  • MR vaccine provides protection against Measles (M) and Rubella (R). MR Dose 2 at 7 years old
  • JE is vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis (This vaccine is only provided in Sarawak)
  • HPV is Human Papilloma This vaccine is provided only for girls aged 13 years. Dose 2 is given 6 months after dose 1

This an additional list of vaccines which you can discuss with your doctor about the suitability for your child:

Reference: myhealth.gov.my

Download Teleme’s mobile app and ask any health questions



Vaccination has been recommended for decades to protect yourself against flu especially during flu season and while traveling. Flu vaccinations can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to flu and also to prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Image Source: Pixabay

Flu Affects Children & Their Parents

i) Children can easily catch the flu in school

ii) They then spread it to their parents, siblings and friends

iii) Flu causes children to miss school, and parents to miss work

iv) Infants and children under 5 years old are at high risk of serious flu complications


Vaccinate to Beat the Flu

i) Vaccination reduces hospitalisation by 75% and school absenteeism by 77%

ii) 2 doses, at least 4 weeks apart, for children aged 6 months through to 8 years who are getting vaccinated for the first time

iii) 1 dose annually for previously vaccinated children, and their parents/childminders

Image Source: Pexels

 Flu Reduce Your Quality of Life

i) Flu symptoms and complications are more severe for people aged 65 years and above

ii) Having one or more chronic conditions (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, heart disease) increases flu severity that may lead to death

iii) Flu complications can be difficult and expensive to treat in the elderly and people with health problems


Vaccinate to Beat the Flu

i) Vaccine effectiveness of 60-75% against mild to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, a serious lung disease)

ii) Reduce hospital admissions in diabetic, heart disease, stroke and COPD patients

iii) 1 dose per year to reduce hospitalization, treatment costs and death in seniors

Image Source: Pexels

 Don’t Fly with Flu

i) Flu is the most frequent vaccine-preventable infection among travellers

ii) Travellers may catch the flu during long or packed flights

iii) You may also get infected by touching contaminated seats and armrests where flu viruses can survive up to 8 hours

iv) Suffering with flu may affect your business trip and vacation

Vaccinate to Beat the Flu

i) Get your vaccination annually (for continuous protection) at least 2 weeks before your trip

ii) Vaccines for the northern and southern hemispheres may be different, do consult your doctor

Image Source: Forbes Middle East

 Prevent Flu, Complete Your Pilgrimage

i) Pilgrims are 8 times more likely to catch a respiratory infection, including influenza

ii) More than 90% of Malaysians had at least 1 respiratory symptom during their pilgrimage

iii) Flu symptoms make it harder to perform your pilgrimage under harsh conditions in the holy land

iv) Getting sick or hospitalised for flu will disrupt your pilgrimage


Vaccinate to Beat the Flu

i) Vaccine effectively reduces clinic visits for influenza-like illness by 77%

ii) Malaysian and Saudi Arabian health authorities recommend influenza vaccination for Malaysian hajj and umrah pilgrims


References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Download Teleme’s mobile app and consult a Vaccination Practitioner today


 Dr. Suraya

Dr. Suraya

Vaccination Practitioner (Adult)




There’s a common misconception that the flu is the same as a cold. Both are respiratory illnesses sharing the same symptoms but they are actually caused by different viruses. So if you feel you’re coming down with something while you’re on a trip, don’t panic. It may be just an ordinary cold which can be easily treated.

It’s important to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms so that the illness can be treated accordingly.

Flu may be seasonal in colder climates but in the tropics, influenza circulates year-round. Hence, it makes sense that year-round protection against influenza is a must for travellers.

Currently, there are four strains of flu viruses commonly circulating worldwide among people today – two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains. However, the influenza virus is constantly changing so last year’s vaccine may not work this year.


CDC, WebMD, WHO (Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet, November 2016)


A traveller’s best defence against the flu is to get vaccinated every year. Consult a Vaccination Practitioner on Teleme’s app today.


 Dr. Suraya

Dr. Suraya

Vaccination Practitioner (Adult)