Media personnel heave a sigh of relief after being vaccinated today

KUALA LUMPUR: Media practitioners are finally being vaccinated! The hashtag #CucukMyPress campaign came to fruition after the first group of media personnel received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, starting today.

Despite facing the risk of infection that has resulted in several media personnel testing positive for Covid-19, they have continued to persevere out of a sense of duty and responsibility, and the vaccine will provide much-needed protection for them to continue to serve in the field.

TV3 broadcast journalist, Wan Zairul Azri Wan Mohammad Sudin, said the vaccine was highly anticipated, given the daily tasks that exposed media personnel to the risk of infection.

“What I want to emphasise, as a media practitioner who has been on duty through the Covid-19 pandemic, from the first movement control order (MCO) until now, is that we are still on duty as usual and we are really looking forward to being vaccinated,” he said.

Wan Zairul Azri, who is also the Putrajaya Media Club president, said as stated by the government to achieve herd immunity, among media personnel there should also be group immunity as they meet colleagues and members of the public almost on a daily basis.

“If one person has been vaccinated and another is yet to be so, what then? So, it is important for all media personnel to be vaccinated immediately,” he said, adding that a total of 23 media personnel from 10 media agencies in Putrajaya received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine today at Dewan Seri Seroja, Putrajaya.

“A total of four sessions were held to administer the vaccine; at 9 am, 10 am, 12 noon and 12.30 pm… I got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at 12 noon,” he said.

Sinar Harian journalist, Tuan Buqhairah Tuan Muhamad Adnan, said although she had just received the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine, she felt great relief and more confidence doing her job of delivering news to the public.

“Every day we go out to meet people and are exposed to the risk of infection, but for the sake of my job I still have to go out by practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing, using two pieces of face mask and always using disinfectant liquids,” she said, adding that today’s vaccination process was smooth and very organised.

Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) editor-in-chief, Abdul Rahman Ahmad, thanked the government for listening to the grievances of media personnel who are also frontliners, and asked for the vaccination to be expedited.

“This is because there are also photographers and journalists who have been infected with the virus while on duty. The vaccines should be administered immediately, including media personnel in the states who should be given priority as well,” said Abdul Rahman, who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at 9 this morning.

Meanwhile, in Perak, State Health director, Datuk Dr Ding Lay Ming, said the vaccination of media personnel in the state would be implemented in the near future, depending on the policy set by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF).

Yesterday, the Perak Media Practitioners Association (PPMP) urged the government to expedite the vaccination of media personnel so that they can carry out their duties more confidently and safely, as media personnel in Perak and several other states have yet to receive any notification of vaccination appointments through the MySejahtera application.

There are several media personnel in Perak who underwent quarantine periods a few times and became close contacts of Covid-19 patients. On May 3, 22 media personnel from various agencies in the state underwent quarantine after being detected as close contacts of patients who tested positive for Covid-19. – Bernama