KUALA LUMPUR: A drive-through Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV) for persons with disabilities (OKU) is expected to start operations in the Klang Valley this month, says the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.
Datuk Seri Rina Harun said the initiative was a collaboration with the private sector and OKU Sentral president Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.
“This is one way to make it easier for them and to hasten the vaccination process for the disabled community, ” Rina told reporters after visiting the headquarters of the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) yesterday.
She said the ministry had requested mobile vaccination units to target at least 500 old folks homes registered with the Social Welfare Department (JKM).
She said they had submitted the names of 446,000 OKU registered with JKM to the Health Ministry for vaccination.
Rina added that a total of 195,395 OKU had registered to be vaccinated via the MySejahtera app.
“We don’t want anyone to be left behind in the vaccination programme, ” she said.
The MAB centre – the first PPV dedicated to the OKU – can handle up to 200 vaccinations a day for the blind as well as their caregivers.
MAB chief executive officer George Thomas said they had received 1,800 requests for vaccination so far – 1,100 for the blind and 700 for their caregivers.
One caregiver can be vaccinated for each blind person.
Mohd Redzuan, 51, said he was happy to get his first dose of the vaccine together with his wife and caregiver Malawani Omar, 48.
The couple have been badly impacted by the pandemic as their small food business has taken a hit due to the lockdown and various forms of the movement control order.
“It is a relief but we hope more people will register for the vaccination as it is for everybody’s safety, ” said Redzuan, who lives in Damansara, Selangor.
CK Lim, 63, and his wife Kitty Wee, 59, were looking forward to the day when the country achieved herd immunity and they would be able to travel again.
“It has been frustrating being under lockdown, but getting the jab is a relief.
“Everyone should get it so that life can return to normal as soon as possible, ” said Lim, who is suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disorder that leads to the loss of sight over time.
Vincent Ng, 25, who has been blind since birth, said he jumped at the opportunity to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Though the car driven by his father suffered a punctured tyre on the way to the PPV from their home in Klang, they eventually managed to reach the centre and get their jab.
“I hope all Malaysians get the jab. The faster it is done, the faster our economy can get back to normal, ” he said, adding that the jab was just like any other.