Nursing homes and centres for disabled people in Petaling Jaya have been urged to respond to district health authorities to facilitate the vaccination of residents against Covid-19.
Dr Yaacub Ibrahim, a medical officer from the Petaling Jaya health office, said only around 200 out of of 1,000 homes had responded to the on-site vaccination efforts which began in June.
“We send personnel to the homes because they cannot travel to the vaccination centres due to various constraints,” he told MalaysiaNow.
“However, many old folks’ homes and centres for the disabled have not returned our calls.”
He said the lack of response was mostly due to communication constraints.
“We telephone, but the management doesn’t answer,” he said.
“Everyone needs to register for the vaccination programme. If they are able to travel, they should register through MySejahtera. If they have mobility issues, they should contact the nearest health office. We will send staff over to the home.”
So far, teams have visited 151 homes in Petaling Jaya and administered nearly 4,000 first doses of vaccine.
While many homes have been slow to respond, residents at others are grateful to have received their Covid-19 jabs.
Zainuddin Mirza Said, 92, said he was thankful to have received both doses of vaccine at the home instead of having to travel to a vaccination centre.
Zainuddin, who is wheelchair-bound, said he had experienced no side effects from the vaccine.
“Everything went well. My advice is, everyone should be vaccinated to help stop the spread of this pandemic,” he said when met at the Heritage Senior Care Centre in Petaling Jaya.
Wong Keng Sheng, a caregiver at Pertubuhan Kebajikan Warga Emas Kenang Budi Kuala Lumpur in Petaling Jaya, expressed relief that all 15 residents at the home had been fully vaccinated.
“We have senior citizens who are at risk due to health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Some of them were abandoned by their families while others lived alone.
“After this programme was launched, we immediately requested that this home be included,” he said. “Within two weeks our residents had received their first jabs.”
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat this week, Khairy Jamaluddin, the minister in charge of Malaysia’s massive vaccination programme, said the percentage of the country’s population which had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine had surpassed that of some developed countries like Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand.
He said the immunisation programme, involving an allocation of RM5.8 billion, initially targeted 80% of the population to receive the vaccine by February next year. However, he said this was brought earlier to December this year after taking into account the current developments.
“The duration has been further shortened to this October,” he said.