Door-to-door vaccine programme blueprint for underserved communities

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KUALA LUMPUR: Bedridden individuals and their caregivers in Malaysia have started receiving their Covid-19 vaccine under a door-to-door programme to assess non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) capacity to reach and cover underserved communities.

MERCY Malaysia Health Unit head Dr Mohammad Iqbal Omar, told Bernama MERCY and other NGOs aim to vaccinate some 22,000 individuals in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, listed as bedridden in the government’s database.

“It’s a pilot project for the NGOs. It is very important for us,” he said, adding the importance of maintaining vaccine integrity.

If successful, this door-to-door vaccination programme will be the blueprint for providing shots to hard-to-reach communities in Malaysia, such as those in the interior, the Orang Asli and refugees.

He added other NGOs are also involved in this effort, including Imaret and the National Cancer Society. 

The Ministry of Health and the Social Welfare Department (JKM) have provided the names and addresses of the vaccine recipients.

Eleven households, comprising 36 people, in Beranang and Semenyih were identified for vaccination today and to get to the houses, the van carrying the vaccines and personnel had to travel through narrow roads into areas with dense foliage and  patchy internet connection.

Serinang Subi, who can barely walk for the past four years due to rheumatoid arthritis, was happy to hear from JKM that she and her family would not need to travel to get their shot. 

“JKM said they are coming over, so we need not travel and queue up. This saves us a lot of trouble,” she said.

The 69-year old said she was at first worried about getting the jab, but decided to take it since she was at risk of severe illness should someone bring the infection home.

In total, 33 out of 36 people received their first shot of the Cominarty vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech on Tuesday (July 6). – Bernama

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