SINCE the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme was kicked off on Feb 24, many parties, including the state government machinery, local councils and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), have been actively encouraging and helping the public to register for the vaccination programme.
Nationwide, 7.5 million people have registered for Covid-19 vaccination as of March 31, which is only 31% of the targeted population.
In Penang, a total of 527,763 people in the state have registered for vaccination as of March 31, which is only 38.12 per cent of the state government’s target.
As the second phase of the programme is slated to begin on April 19, the state and Federal governments are ramping up efforts to get more people to be inoculated.
Buletin Mutiara managed to interview some of the Penangites for their views regarding the Covid-19 immunisation programme. Below are their comments.
Mohamad Fazrul Mohamad Nazlan (28, private sector worker)
“First of all, I have registered myself for the Covid-19 immunisation programme through the MySejahtera application.
“I also helped my parents to register as well for the vaccine.
“This is because I believe the vaccine is a must to achieve herd immunity as promulgated by the Health Ministry.
“Through vaccine only can we all get back to our normal life as before.
“Thus, I also would like to encourage others to quickly register themselves because the more people registered for the vaccine, the quicker our country will recover. We can then see all sectors of economy running as usual.”
Nur Maisarah Anuar (34, entrepreneur)
“I just registered myself for the vaccine last week when I came across a registration counter at a wet market in Seberang Jaya.
“To be honest, in the early days when the first supply of vaccines arrived, I was a bit sceptical about its effectiveness.
“But as the time goes on, I started to realise that vaccine is the only way for us to protect ourselves and our loved ones against the virus.”
Nur Azwina Shah Bodin (28, customer service executive)
“When I heard that the public can start to register themselves for the Covid-19 vaccination through the MySejahtera application, I did not hesitate to do it.
“And I cannot wait for my turn to be vaccinated.
“I also welcome the Federal Government’s announcement yesterday that they are considering allowing interstate travel for those who have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations.
“For me, this is such a good news as it will encourage others to register themselves for the vaccines or else they cannot travel to other states. And I think it is fair.”
Brian Chen (30, engineer)
“As for me, I have registered myself and am ready to get the shot any time. I believe it is safe or else the Health Ministry would not allow the vaccines to be brought into the country.
“As far as I know, it has to go through strict checks by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) before it is approved for use. NPRA has verified that the vaccines are safe to use. So, there is nothing to be scared about.
“After all, the public needs to know that vaccination is crucial in order to help the government combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Don’t we all miss our normal life prior to the pandemic? So, let’s register ourselves to be vaccinated.”
Naneeneswary Sathivello (30, graphic designer)
“I prefer to take a wait-and-see approach first because I am not really convinced of the efficacy of the vaccines yet.
“At least, I will wait until the second phase of the programme from April to August is over. The second phase is meant for senior citizens aged 60 and above, as well as vulnerable groups with morbidity issues and persons with disabilities. I will then decide after that.
“I need to see first whether there are any critical side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines because as far as I know, they will start using the other vaccines and not Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines which were used during the first phase of the vaccination programme.”
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Alissala Thian