More people need to speak up on being vaccinated


More people need to speak up on being vaccinated
By Zan Azlee

The vaccine is here. Yay, hooray! To be honest, knowing that Covid-19 vaccination has started in Malaysia has given me a big sense of relief. As soon as the registration process was opened, I immediately went on to the MySejahtera app and registered. This was a week ago.

Then, I read the news that some people were concerned that they never received confirmation on their registration. Apparently, once you complete your registration on the app, a confirmation page will appear. When I did it a week ago, there was no confirmation page.

So I logged on again yesterday and I noticed that the registration page was still offered up to me. So I completed it (again!) and finally, I was shown the confirmation of my registration. Now, if I enter the app, I can clearly see that I have been registered. Phew!

It’s going to be a while before my turn. I’m in the category after the frontliners and those who are high risk. That’s okay. I’ll wait and I’m definitely not going to jump the queue. What would be ironic is if I get the virus now – right at the final leg when vaccinations have started. Knock on wood!

My wife has also registered and I am pushing for my parents and parents-in-law to register as well. In fact, if it were available for children, I would want all three of mine to get vaccinated as well. Although it is voluntary, I think everyone should be vaccinated.

The Malaysian government has also assured everyone that they have procured more than enough to vaccinate the population and it is free. They have also stated that non-citizens will be included as well and this includes UNHCR registered cardholders and undocumented migrants.

Let’s give credit when it is due. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this news. But I guess it is only logical because the objective of it is to achieve herd immunity. So good job Malaysian government. I applaud and support you.

Now, the next problem is those who are too sceptical about the vaccination that is being given. It’s okay to be sceptical and it is okay to demand explanations and proof that the vaccinations are safe. And once a valid explanation has been given, accept it.

If the explanation and proof aren’t good enough, then by all means be sceptical and demand some more. But, as I said, if a good and logical explanation has been given, accept it.

 

The funny thing is, the credibility of many of the people who have told me that they are sceptical and will be holding out from being vaccinated is quite suspect to me.

Last resort

These are the same people who would believe the most absurd theories being spread on WhatsApp such as how the cicak tokek in Taman Negara produces enzymes that can heal HIV and cancer. But doubt the factual proof based on scientific research about the Covid-19 vaccine that is being published globally in credible mainstream media.

It just blows my mind!

We need to do more to convince Malaysians to take up the vaccination. This is the key to protecting people and also to get back to the ‘old normal’. We need more people to speak up about the vaccination, from politicians to influencers, whether it is social media or not.

I liked the commitment that Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is heading the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, made when he said that he would take whatever vaccine that came after the more popular US-German one.

He was the first to be vaccinated with China’s Sinovac vaccine and he immediately released a video on Twitter speaking in Mandarin attesting to the safety of the vaccine. He ended it by joking that his Mandarin had suddenly improved after being injected. Brilliant!

So, come on everyone. Let’s all register for the vaccination and protect ourselves. Aside from social distancing, wearing masks and taking care of our hygiene, this is the last resort if we ever want to gain any form of normalcy in our lives again.

[This article was originally written for and published at Malaysiakini.com]

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