PUTRAJAYA: The first batch of media practitioners received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine here on Wednesday (June 9) under the National Covid-19 immunisation programme.
The Dewan Seroja vaccination centre here saw 98 reporters, photographers and video cameramen from around the Klang Valley streaming in for their jabs from as early as 9am.
The Star photographer Azhar Mahfof, 43, was relieved to finally get his vaccination appointment this week.
“Going to work every day to cover assignments exposes us to the risk of getting Covid-19.
"As a father of five children, I am worried about getting infected, but our line of work means that we continue to go out in the field even during lockdown periods.
“And I have covered many high-risk areas such as Covid-19 wards at hospitals.
“So I am quite relieved to be vaccinated today. I hope more of my photographer friends will also receive their appointments as soon as possible, ” said Azhar.
Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry has identified more than 4, 000 media practitioners who are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.
“Today, a total of 98 media personnel have gotten their first dose, and there will be more groups to follow, including in other states.
“We deem journalists as frontliners as they have to go down on the ground for work, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
"Hopefully, all journalists can be vaccinated as soon as possible... we understand their concerns, ” said Saifuddin, who visited the centre.
Also with him was Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Khairy Jamaluddin, the coordinating minister of the national immunisation programme.
Khairy said more media practitioners will be receiving their vaccination appointments via MySejahtera in the coming week.
“CITF (the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force) is in the midst of getting the list of names from the Information Department.
"We want to ensure that all media practitioners are protected when they do their reporting, ” said Khairy.