KUCHING: Some members of the public are in favour of allowing rural folk to get vaccinated first and register later.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg recently stated that rural folk would not be turned away if they show up at vaccination centres (PPV) without prior registration.
He noted that this was part of the state’s approach to speed up and widen the vaccination programme in order to achieve full vaccination within Sarawak’s scheduled time frame.
Penghulu Jackson Kubang Luring, 68, a community leader in Belaga, expressed his support.
“I think this would be the best for rural communities. We need to give more priority to them so that they can get vaccinated in time or as soon as possible.
“Covid-19 cases are now creeping up in rural communities such as longhouses, villages and some scattered areas. I personally wish to advise all rural folk to be ready to receive their vaccine because it will help keep them safe.”
He pointed out the lack of network connectivity as a contributing factor to the lack of updates for those who have registered.
“There are times when it is difficult to get information regarding the vaccination programme and for that information to reach the registered individuals in time.”
Atina Usun, 25, a clerk, opined that the Sarawak government should also mobilise manpower to rural areas to facilitate the process.
“The Sarawak government should provide a more convenient venue for rural folk to get their vaccination. This will make it easier for them to show up for their appointment.
“Moreover, it will reduce the number of those failing to turn up. I am grateful that our leaders and government care as well as concerned about vaccination for rural folk.”
Meanwhile, Pennicia Pen Avit, 33, a teacher, said: “It is great that vaccination for those in rural areas had been discussed by our leaders. This shows that they are aware about how vaccination in rural areas needed to be conducted.”
She added: “Although the approach of getting vaccinated first then register later is a good one, I think it wouldn’t have much impact on speeding up vaccination due to other constraints that needed to be looked into.”
Pennicia pointed out that transportation was a concern for rural folk, with most PPV located in towns or cities.
She added that rural folk might not be aware or perhaps lacked knowledge on the importance of getting vaccinated.
“I think these challenges can be easily taken care of if teams are deployed to approach rural folk, to create awareness, then follow up on the process.”