KINABATANGAN: Living deep in the interior and over 20km away from the nearest vaccination centre in Kinabatangan Hospital, the workers of the Kertam oil palm plantation here were over the moon when the Covid-19 mobile vaccination team arrived.
Challenges in terms of transportation, roads and rising cases of Covid-19 in the city have made it hard for the estate workers to go out for their inoculations. Hence, the vaccination team was welcomed like superheroes who had come to “rescue” the residents.
Worried that he might become a carrier of Covid-19, estate worker Leng Kar Heang, 70, said he took the vaccine to protect his family from the virus.
“I am more confident to work after this. The mobile vaccination programme is great because we are living in an estate which is far from the city and the vaccination centre. Everyone was happy when the team arrived, it was like welcoming a superhero,” he told Bernama.
Halimah Jamitah, 44, and her daughter, Eva Alvinah Samsul, 21, admitted that they were initially influenced by rumours that the vaccine would harm them, but changed their minds after seeing the vaccination process for themselves.
“After observing the procedure and how they fully adhered to the SOPs, we feel more confident in taking the vaccine. Moreover, all recipients seemed to be healthy afterwards, including the elderly,” said Eva Alvinah.
Estate manager Sinoh Kulipang, 45, thanked the government and the health ministry for conducting the vaccination programme in plantation areas . He urged the community to support the programme for their own benefit, their families and society as a whole.
“This vaccination programme makes it easier for plantation workers to get the vaccine as we face difficulties going out following the total lockdown from June 1 to 14,” he said.
The mobile vaccination team, comprising 17 personnel from the ministry, the Kinabatangan district health department and Civil Defence Force, aims to inoculate 300 workers in plantations.
Kinabatangan district officer Abd Manap Abd Ruhim said the effort to bring Covid-19 vaccines to the plantations was highly welcomed, and the plantation management also cooperated by providing a place to conduct the vaccinations.
“At the moment, the vaccine shots are only for the local people, but foreign workers from the high-risk group will also be considered,” he said.
As of May 27, a total of 24,408 residents in the district had registered for the vaccine, and 5,699 had completed both doses, and 3,483 their first dose. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY
MALAY MAIL / ANN / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY