Thumbs up for service at NGO’s vaccination venue

WELL-organised and friendly – that was the verdict by those who turned up for their vaccination at the KL Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Lee Cal Vin, who took his grandparents to the centre, said he was relieved to find a team of volunteers waiting at the front entrance to offer assistance while he parked his car.

His wheelchair-bound grandmother Tee Kwui Seong and grandfather, Lee Yen Wah, in his 80s, were also pleased with the treatment.

The couple were among hundreds who had been inoculated at the hall belonging to the Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia.

The foundation had offered its premises for free to the Health Ministry (MOH) to carry out and expedite the government’s vaccination programme.

Revealing that his grandparents were late for their appointment as they had not checked their MySejahtera app earlier,

Lee said he was happy that volunteers at the registration counter were able to resolve the problem so that his grandparents could receive their first dose of the vaccine.

Their next appointment is scheduled for July.

“I also found the doctors on duty to be very knowledgeable. Overall, the volunteers were kind and helpful,” said Lee.

Giving an in-depth view into the operating procedure, Ee Hong Chew, one of the six volunteer coordinators for the foundation’s immunisation programme, said those scheduled for vaccination would be contacted if they failed to show up at the appointed time.

Volunteers stationed at the entrance of the KL Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall to help recipients, who were mostly in their 70s or older.Volunteers stationed at the entrance of the KL Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall to help recipients, who were mostly in their 70s or older.

“Those who have confirmed their attendance via the app will be given a call if they are late, while Individuals who have not confirmed will be called before their set appointment time.

“If they are late by an hour or two, we may still accommodate. Otherwise, they will have to wait for the system to give them a new date and maybe a different venue via the app,” he explained.

However, Ee strongly advised those who have been given their appointment dates to show up on time as the centre would be administering doses for more than 600

people on a daily basis until the end of September.

He also said that the organising committee, on the advice of MOH, had six stations to carry out the vaccination process.

“We organised the workflow so that each individual will not have to spend longer than an hour, including counselling and observation time, at the centre.

“This is to avoid crowding,” said Ee.

He also said all volunteers for the programme had been vaccinated for their safety.

Yip Sook Ying, a pharmacist with the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (Tima) said 50 volunteers had been mobilised daily for the vaccination programme at the centre.

“Almost 80% of our vaccine recipients are in the 70s to 90s age group.

“Six volunteers have been stationed at the entrance to help and wheelchairs will be provided for those who require them.

“We have also set up a fast lane system so that their consent and vaccination can be done quickly,” said Yip.

A special area set up in the centre to deal with emergencies. — Photos: CHANG TAK KONG/The StarA special area set up in the centre to deal with emergencies. — Photos: CHANG TAK KONG/The Star

The programme, run daily from 9am to 5pm, is being carried out on the first floor of the three-storey building.

The rest of its facilities, such as the kindergarten, bookshop and offices, are off limits during the immunisation programme.

Vaccination services are provided by digital health solution provider BookDoc and Tima.

The roster sees the former working from Monday to Friday while the latter has been designated to fill the weekend slots.

Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation deputy chief executive officer Sio Kee Hong said 168 man-hours were spent organising the immunisation programme.

The exercise included a trial run for the workflow as well as a visit by MOH’s evaluation team led by its deputy director-general for public health Datuk Dr Chong Chee Keong.

“What makes this centre unique is that our volunteers have taken great efforts to ensure the stations, including their waiting areas, are kept clean and orderly.

“This is to make sure that those coming to our centre will feel comfortable and if they have any anxieties, we hope that the atmosphere will put them at ease. As they say, there is beauty in neatness,” said Sio.

He added that the foundation had so far contributed about RM6mil in medical equipment, face masks and face shields towards fighting the pandemic.

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