OKU have few qualms about vaccination, says senator

JOHOR BARU: Most individuals with disabilities (OKU) are not opposed to getting the Covid-19 vaccination as they understand its importance in fighting the virus, says Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi (pic).

The OKU Sentral Association president said sometimes, their parents or guardians were the ones with reservations about them receiving the jab.

“Although we do not have the statistics on how many OKU have been inoculated, the general feedback is that they aren’t opposed to it.“OKU are used to getting medical attention such as receiving injections so they are usually calm throughout the process, with the exception of those suffering from autism or mental disabilities.

“Vaccination centres (PPV) have medical staff on site for consultation, so parents and caretakers need not worry.

“They should register the OKU to keep them protected,” she said at the OKU Sentral drive-through PPV at the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) Aquatic Centre in Larkin here yesterday.

At present, the country has about 600,000 OKU registered with the Welfare Department.

Ras Adiba believed the unregistered numbers were quite high.

“According to the World Health Organisation, about 15% of a country’s population are OKU. Based on that data, Malaysia would have 4.1 million disabled individuals.

“Parents and guardians of disabled persons are urged to register them for the vaccine to help the nation reach herd immunity,” she said.Ras Adiba added that the opening of the drive-through PPV meant a lot to the OKU community.

“What makes it significant is that it is managed by experienced people who work closely with the OKU and know how to make the experience comfortable for them.

“This encourages more OKU to get vaccinated,” she said.

Registration for the vaccination programme is open to OKU above the age of 18 with any of the seven government-recognised disability categories – blindness, deafness, speech disability, physical disability, multiple disabilities, learning disability or autism and mental disability.Online registration is still open via OKU Sentral’s Google Form at https://forms.gle/gVXk6jeAeo8Pru1v6 until Aug 30.

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