Encouraging turnout by Penang's eager elderly folk for phase two of vaccination programme


GEORGE TOWN: With phase two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme being rolled out on Monday (April 19), many senior citizens in the city were seen eagerly lining up to be vaccinated.

Most of the elderly, some in wheelchairs, were accompanied by their children.

Among them was 97-year-old retired developer Lee Ah Kim, who said he was the first member of his family to receive the vaccine.

“My son registered me for the vaccination and he brought me here this morning.

“I’m not worried at all as I have no health issues - no high blood pressure, no diabetes and no high cholesterol, ” he said when met at the vaccination centre at Caring Society Complex in Jalan Utama here Monday.

Phase two of the vaccination programme prioritises senior citizens, persons with disabilities and those with chronic diseases.

Penang Health Department director Datuk Dr Asmayani Khalib said 2,024 people are expected to be vaccinated at five vaccination centres in Penang on Monday.

“I am happy to see the elderly come without hesitation. They have no doubts about the vaccination programme," she told reporters at the Caring Society Complex.

“I urge all Penangites to register through MySejahtera to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“So far, 44.8% of Penangites have registered for the vaccination.

“As of now, we have two types of vaccines, namely Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, in Penang, ” she added.

On a separate matter, Dr Asmayani said the Health Department will be informed if positive Covid-19 cases are detected in schools.

“Our officers will carry out a risk assessment before suggesting if the school should be partially or fully closed.

“I urge students with symptoms not go to school, ” she said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow hoped that with phase two of the vaccination programme getting under way, more people will register to be vaccinated.

“With more people registering for the programme, we will be on track to achieve our target of vaccinating 1.34 million people here.

“Those who have registered need to always check their MySejahtera app for their appointment date.

“Around 30% who registered did not check their appointment dates and some did not know that they have to confirm their attendance.

“Failing to do so will affect the progress of the programme, ” he said.

Chow said he was hopeful that economic frontliners such as factory workers will be fast-tracked for vaccination as it would be greatly beneficial for the economy of the state and country.

He also hoped the current number of vaccination centres in the state could be expanded from five to 10 to speed up the process.

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