GEORGE TOWN: Some 192,000 recipients of the iSejahtera welfare aid in Penang have been automatically registered for the vaccination programme, says state health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin.
She said the state government had helped the recipients, all of whom are senior citizens, under the state’s iSejahtera welfare programme where their data was integrated into the MySejahtera app to facilitate registration for the Covid-19 vaccine under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
“I had requested Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to allow us to integrate data from iSejahtera into MySejahtera.
“We have over 200,000 senior citizens under the programme and we have managed to integrate the data for 192,000 of them.
“The rest might have registered for the vaccine themselves while some might not be in Penang or could not be verified.
“We hope that through this, we can ease the burden of the elderly so that they do not need to register themselves, ” she told reporters after the soft launch of the first comprehensive nuclear medicine centre in northern Malaysia at Penang Adventist Hospital yesterday.
Dr Norlela said senior citizens could still choose if they wanted to be vaccinated, although the state government had integrated their data.
“The recipients will be notified of their vaccination appointment.
“The notification will be sent to the recipients through their MySejahtera app 14 days before their appointment, in which they will be given the liberty to accept or deny the appointment.
“Once they accept, they will receive another round of reminder, three days prior to their appointment as well as a day before, via text messages and calls from the call centre.
“They can still choose if they want to be vaccinated as we just help to key in the data. At the end of the day, they will have to give consent if they want to be vaccinated, ” she said.
She urged senior citizens to always check their registration status through the MySejahtera app.
“I urge all senior citizens to register themselves to get vaccinated as they fall under the high-risk category. Most of the senior citizens will be asked to be vaccinated at the 10 Vaccination Administration Centres (PPVs) in the state.
“For those who are sick or have comorbidity, they will be called to go to clinics and hospitals for their vaccination, ” she said.
During the launch, Dr Norlela said demand for healthcare had become more challenging in tandem with the increasing ageing population.
She said researchers were fighting against challenges to find new disease prevention methods and treatment.
“Diseases such as cancer can be treated more successfully if diagnosis is made earlier.
“Nuclear medicine treatment can help a number of healthcare problems, from cancer to endocrine problems, ” she added.
Dr Norlela said the use of nuclear medicine procedures would continue to rise in the future.
“It is hoped that nuclear medicine can be integrated with other clinical departments to gain the best possible outcomes for patients and to improve patient care, ” she said.