With daily Covid-19 cases still riding a high streak of more than 6,000 recorded every 24 hours, more young people are coming forward as volunteers in hopes of giving the government’s massive immunisation drive a boost.
They, like many others, are keenly aware that the best shot at a return to normal life is for the country to achieve herd immunity against the virus which has so far claimed more than 5,600 lives.
From all across the country, they have flocked to answer the call for volunteers under the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteer (MyVac) initiative, a joint effort by the ministries of health; science, technology and innovation; youth and sports; and higher education, as well as the Red Crescent Society.
For their services as a volunteer, they receive an allowance of RM50 a day – but it isn’t the money that they are after.
Hasni Ibrahim said he was glad to be able to help lighten the load on frontliners while also gaining a little knowledge about the world of health.
“The allowance they give is not much, but I can help by registering those who come to be vaccinated and making sure the vaccination process goes smoothly,” the 31-year-old told MalaysiaNow at one of the vaccination centres dotted around the Klang Valley.
“Giving assistance is a very noble task.”
Hasni has a degree from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak but, like others who finished their studies during the pandemic crisis, he has been having trouble finding a job.
Volunteering with MyVac allows him to do something constructive with his time while also contributing to society.
“For me, this initiative has benefited many and helped speed up the process of vaccination,” he said.
“I am being paid to help people – giving assistance is a very noble task.”
For Yuan Leong, pitching in was a way of helping in the fight against Covid-19.
“It’s actually not a big sacrifice but at least I can help eradicate this virus,” he said.
“It might not be much but I do what I can to help,” he told MalaysiaNow at the mega vaccination centre at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.
Leong used to work as a graphic artist before he lost his job due to the pandemic’s effect on the economy.
Since April, he has been stationed at the counter for senior citizens and special needs people.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme or PICK, launched on Feb 24, is the country’s largest vaccination programme to date and a crucial part of efforts to bring the pandemic under control.
As of June 23, a total of 4,500 volunteers had been stationed at 332 vaccination centres with more waiting for other centres to open.
On June 19, Youth and Sports Minister Reezal Merican said more volunteers were needed in the push to achieve herd immunity, as more mega vaccination centres were being opened including outside of city centres and in Orang Asli settlements.
More than 300,000 doses of vaccine were administered on July 5, the most jabs given in a single day since the start of PICK, taking the total number of doses given to 9,320,476.