Orang Asli village heads urged to get vaccinated to inspire the community to sign up

SEREMBAN: Orang Asli village heads or Tok Batin have been urged to become role models by taking the Covid-19 vaccine, as only 10.5% of the community in Negri Sembilan have agreed to be inoculated.

State health committee chairman S. Veerapan said as of Sunday (June 13), only 857 of the eligible 8, 167 Orang Asli in the state have registered for the vaccine.

Of those who registered, only 32 have been given the vaccine through the government’s mobile outreach programme.

“We are confident more will come forward if the Tok Batin agreed to take the vaccine first.

“These village chiefs must also assist the health authorities and the Orang Asli Development Department to explain to their people the benefits of being vaccinated, ” he said in a statement on Tuesday (June 15).

Veerapan said the authorities also faced challenges in vaccinating the Orang Asli as they lived in rural and remote areas.

On the overall vaccination situation in the state, he said as of Sunday, 107, 180 people had received their first dose and 64, 070 had completed both doses.

This number made up 12.6% of those eligible for vaccination.

As of Monday (June 14), there were 33 active clusters in the state with 5, 345 cases. The Senawang Industrial cluster had the highest number of cases with 716.

“For the industrial clusters, we plan to screen all workers so that we can break the Covid-19 chain, ” he said.

Veerapan said 312, 542 screenings have been carried out this year with 25, 739 or 8.2% coming back positive.

He said efforts to vaccinate 80% of the population in the state will be intensified so that it could achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible.

State women, family and welfare committee chairman Nicole Tan Lee Koon also asked the Federal authorities to increase the supply of Covid-19 vaccine to the state.

She said although the state health authorities can administer up to 14, 000 doses a day, the state was only getting 8, 000 shots.

Earlier, Veerapan had also urged Federal authorities to increase the supply of vaccine to the state, which has seen a high number of cases in recent days.

Veerapan said the state government has also written to vaccine manufacturers for the supply of Pfizer, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Moderna vaccines, but had not received any reply.

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