KUCHING: Since the start of phase two of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, the Sarawak government has prioritised vaccination for those aged 60 and above as they are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.
Elderly folk and those with comorbidities are more likely to be infected by Covid-19. They also face a higher risk of death. These health risks created significant fear among the elderly when Covid-19 first hit the country.
As a result, Sarawak’s aim of reaching herd immunity by the end of 2021 begins with vaccinating the elderly.
New Sarawak Tribune spoke to three senior citizens who shared their vaccine experiences in order to encourage others to go for the jabs as well.
One of them is Malimah Bujang, a 69-year-old government pensioner.
“I registered for the vaccination through the MySejahtera app with the help of my grandson during the first immunisation rollout for senior citizens.
“There were a lot of rumours about the vaccines but my grandson, who is volunteering at a vaccine centre (PPV), told me how important the vaccines were,” she explained.
“Shortly thereafter, I received a notification in my MySejahtera app that I was eligible for the vaccine.
“My granddaughter accompanied me to the stadium for my first dose. Everything went smoothly.
“I was nervous but happy to finally be vaccinated. I did not feel any pain. Perhaps it was because I prepared myself beforehand by eating something.”
“I received the Sinovac vaccine and there were immediate no side effects at all. However, I did have some problems sleeping at night. Nevertheless, I woke up feeling refreshed.”
Malimah advised everyone, especially the elderly, to register for the vaccination as soon as possible.
“This is an effort by the government to help curb the spread of Covid-19 and prevent deaths. We must be good citizens and cooperate fully,” she said.
Nur Kairiah Sapaie, 70, another government pensioner, said, “I went to the vaccination centre with my daughter and I got the Sinovac vaccine.
“I felt tired after the jab but other than that, everything was fine. I woke up feeling refreshed the next morning.
“My family was very worried when it was reported that senior citizens faced high risk from Covid-19. That was why my daughter registered me as soon as possible through the MySejahtera app.
“After the second dose, everything was still fine. I feel more refreshed than ever before and I urge others who have not yet registered for the vaccination to do so as soon as possible,” she added.
Another government pensioner, Maimunah Taha Mahmud, 63, said she went for the jab because she wanted to protect herself against the virus.
“After the first dose, I did not feel anything other than a sore arm. After the second dose, I had a mild fever for a few days.
“But the public have been told that sore arms, headaches, fevers or nausea and fatigue are signs that the immune system is working.
“So far, I feel good. I recommend particularly high-risk individuals to register for the jabs and disregard all negative stories about the vaccines. Vaccination is the only way for us to develop herd immunity,” said Maimunah.