First round of Covid-19 shots for special needs people takes off

Fatimah (left) observing as a special needs person gets his shot at Agape Centre, Sibu.

THOSE with special needs were given their shots under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at Agape Centre in Sibu.

The three-day programme, the first in the state, saw 750 special needs people and their parents being vaccinated.

Sarawak Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the programme was for those aged 18 and above and their parents who were primarily the caregivers.

Fatimah said since senior citizens at care homes in the state had been covered under the programme, there was also a need to ensure special needs people under various associations were given the same attention.

However, more focus and care was needed for these individuals as they had various inhibitions and fears, especially of needles.

“Since they fear injections, we need to be by their side to calm them down.

“But with the programme at the Agape Centre, they were calm and more comfortable because they were familiar with the place and the caregivers,” she said.

Her ministry wanted other divisions or areas in the state to have similar programmes, especially in Kuching, which has a number of associations for people with disabilities.

On another matter, Fatimah said the ministry was still waiting for approval from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to include the 1,440 teachers and 388 employees of childcare centres, nurseries and kindergartens for vaccination.

“We have applied to SDMC to prioritise the vaccination of all teachers and staff of preschools and kindergartens,” she added.

Fatimah said vaccination was necessary as the ministry had allowed such centres and kindergartens to open so that the children of frontliners could be taken care off while they were at work.

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