KOTA KINABALU: Many teenagers turned up to have their shots against the Covid-19 virus on the first day that they were allowed to be vaccinated.
Fifteen-year-old Delson Dennison from Luyang, who had his jab with his 13-year-old brother, said he was glad because after his second dose, he would be able to go out and return to school.
“I can’t wait to go back to school and meet my friends,” he said.
His mother Anita Gapilit said she did not waste any time in bringing her sons for their vaccination shots on the first day.
“There are so many cases now and our children are always at risk because we adults are going in and out of the house.
“At least, now I feel more at ease but that doesn’t mean we would be letting our guards down,” she said.
Another 12-year-old boy, Ming, has learnt about the importance of getting vaccinated from his parents.
“After the jab, I felt a bit dizzy. But after a short rest, I felt better,” said the boy, who hopes to meet his friends and teachers soon.
His mother Valery Kong, 34, said her son wanted to spend the last few months of his primary school years physically with his friends and teachers before parting ways for secondary education.
At the Universiti Malaysia Sabah vaccination centre, Miriam Ajem Andrew also chose to immediately get her children, aged 16 and 17, vaccinated.
“Although our children are mostly at home, we parents do have to go out for work and other matters. So, of course, there is a risk every time we return home,” she said, adding that she felt more at ease knowing that her kids were at least partially inoculated.
“With school reopening soon, vaccination for teens is timely and necessary,” she added.
Sabah Health Department director Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the latest update by vaccination centres in the state showed that many parents brought their children in for vaccination.
“We received reports that many of the vaccination centres were full of parents and their children,” she said, adding that the department was also planning to have vaccination drives in schools to allow students to get their jabs easier and faster.
“Discussions are on-going with the state Education Director. We hope to be able to do so before the end of this month,” she said.
Dr Rose said daily new Covid-19 cases in the state showed that an average of 25% of those involved were aged between two and 17 and urged parents who were still unsure about having their kids vaccinated to do so.