Grateful to be seen as frontliners

Round 1 done: National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin (left), Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (third from left) and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (right) standing with journalists who received their vaccination at Dewan Seroja.

PUTRAJAYA: After more than a year of taking risks covering events in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, journalists can now truly feel like being frontliners.

The Star’s Putrajaya bureau chief Mazwin Nik Anis and the newspaper’s photographers Azhar Mahfof and Shaari Che Mat were among 98 media practitioners based in the Klang Valley to receive their first Covid-19 vaccinations yesterday.

Mazwin described getting her jab as “long overdue”, saying she had been working tirelessly since the outbreak of Covid-19 early last year.

“As a journalist, covering assignments is unavoidable even when a movement control order or lockdown is in force. It is part and parcel of our job.

“Last week, I covered an assignment at an immigration depot and a satellite prison.

“When we go to the ground, our safety is at stake. We are constantly exposed to the risk of Covid-19, ” she said after getting her jab at the Dewan Seroja vaccination centre here.

Mazwin recalled that a year ago, she had to be placed under home quarantine after covering an event involving a minister who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

“That is how exposed we are to risks when carrying out our duties. So, I am very relieved to have received my vaccination.

“I hope the process for all my media colleagues will be expedited, ” Mazwin added.

Azhar, 43, a father of five, said he was worried about covering events and infecting his family members.

“My youngest is just a year old, I feel so worried about getting infected during work.

“I have always strictly followed the SOP, but in our line of work, we have to go to all sorts of places on a daily basis.

“And I have covered many high-risk areas, such as Covid-19 wards in hospitals.

“I am grateful to be finally vaccinated, ” he added.

Shaari, 56, said he was also placed under quarantine after covering a minister who tested positive for Covid-19.

“Our work exposes us to risks all the time.

“At events that we cover, we have no control over the crowd but we still need to snap our shots regardless of the situation.

“It is important that all media members are vaccinated as soon as possible, ” he added.

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