Push for OKU to get jabs

PETALING JAYA: The nation’s first drive-through Covid-19 vaccination centre for persons with disabilities (OKU) and their caregivers will start dispensing doses tomorrow, with close to 16,000 people having signed up for the programme.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said the pilot programme was expected to run for five months and registration was open to any OKU and their caregivers in the Klang Valley, regardless of whether they were registered with the Social Welfare Department or not.“The pandemic has been going on for over a year and we have no other choice but to accelerate efforts towards achieving herd immunity.

“We have received almost 16,000 applications from OKU and their carers, showing that awareness on the importance of being vaccinated has reached this group. For now, we estimate that 200 jabs can be given out daily.

“The Social Welfare Department will also open up a counter at the programme site to help the OKU who have not yet registered,” she said after a visit to the Sime Darby Plantation headquarters in Ara Damansara, which will serve as the programme venue.

Rina said while there was a dedicated vaccination centre for the visually impaired at the Malaysian Association for the Blind complex, the programme welcomed all types of OKU.

She added that the government intended to take the programme to other states but there was a need to first assess the pilot drive-through vaccination centre.

“We can then provide the best service after learning and improving from this,” she said, adding that the corporate sector was welcome to contribute premises to enable more such programmes.

Persatuan OKU Sentral president Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi said support from the private sector showed the importance of a whole-of-society approach.

“With such collaboration, it will open up people’s eyes to working together and not in silos,” she said.

Ras Adiba said of those who have registered, 30% had physical disabilities, 18% had learning disabilities, 15% had autism while 5% had mental disabilities.

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