92-year-old agrees to get vaccinated after persuasion

Deputy Minister of Rural Development II Datuk Henry Sum Agong (third left) chats with Puchat Lubak (second right). Also present is Masjid Tanah Member of Parliament who is also the Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (third right). Photo: Bernama

ALOR GAJAH: It took almost a week for family members to persuade 92-year-old Puchat Lubak, believed to be the oldest resident in the Bukit Payung Orang Asli Village, to finally agree to be given the Covid-19 vaccine.

She received the vaccine jab at the Mobile Vaccination Centre (PPVB) which went to the village today. Puchat was accompanied to the centre by her grand-daughter, Asiah Jegap, 37, and her condition was closely monitored by the health personnel there after she was given the jab.

Puchat Lubak, who claimed to be more than 100 years old, although her identity card stated her birth year as 1929, said she agreed to receive the vaccine because she was scared of being infected with the Covid-19 virus.

“The injection is not painful at all,” she said in the dialect of the Temuan Orang Asli tribe and was translated by Asiah.

Meanwhile, Asiah said she and other family members took almost a week to get Puchat to agree to the vaccination. 

“She believes in traditional medicine and has been relying on herbs to keep her healthy. She finally agreed after we told her that that disease (Covid-19) is becoming more serious,” she added.

Another villager, Rami Song Song, 62, who said she is afraid of needles also agreed to be given the vaccine after being coaxed by her children to do so.

“My children said there is nothing to be afraid, and after thinking about the safety of my children and grandchildren, I decided to get the vaccine,” she added.

A total of 314 Orang Asli in the village received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at the Mara Liner PPVB.

In Kota Bharu, a married couple, both persons with disabilities (PwDs), expressed their happiness to finally be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine with the arrival of the PPVB in their area. 

Mohd Nawi Yusof, 67, bedridden since 2012 due to spinal problem, while his wife, Kamariah Saad, 65, had her right leg amputated due to diabetes, said they had been waiting to get the first dose of the vaccine for some time.

“I am used to injections and am not afraid of needles. I felt so relieved when informed by the Kelantan Foundation for People With Disabilities  (Yokuk) about us getting the vaccine. It is important to get the vaccination, whether you are sick or healthy. It is a preventive measure,” said the government retiree.

He was met after the Covid-19 Immunisation programme for PwDs at Yokuk, in Pengkalan Chepa here on Monday.

The programme was also attended by  Yokuk chief operating officer Sulaini Mat Il and Kota Bharu district health officer Dr Izamin Idris.

Mohd Nawi and Kamariah were picked from their house in Taman Seri Pengkalan Chepa and sent to Yokuk premises for the vaccination  by a van provided by the foundation.

Meanwhile, Sulaini said a total of 280 PwDs from several districts received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at Yokuk on that day (Monday). – Bernama