KUALA LUMPUR: The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) will kick off Thursday (Feb 3) in the Klang Valley.
As of Wednesday (Feb 2), some 517,107 children aged 5 to 11 years old have registered for their shots, according to data shared on Twitter by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said in the Klang Valley alone, a total of 47,500 children in Kuala Lumpur, 3,400 in Putrajaya and more than 131,500 in Selangor have registered for PICKids.
Bernama spoke to several parents on Wednesday, many of whom were of the view that the decision to vaccinate their children was the right one as a protective measure and also to help contain the spread of new Covid-19 variants.
They also had good words for the vaccination registration and appointment booking process, saying that it was quite simple and quick via MySejahtera.
Ahmad Sufian Abdul Karim, 46, said he wanted his children to be given the Covid-19 vaccine just like other vaccines that were recommended to prevent infectious diseases.
As soon as he received a notification via MySejahtera on Wednesday, he booked an appointment for his five-year-old son.
"The whole process was smooth and quick. My son will be getting his vaccine on Saturday (Feb 5),” Ahmad Suffian, who has completed his Covid-19 primary vaccination and booster dose, said.
Fong Yee Zie, 38, meanwhile, said his two daughters have appointments for Sunday (Feb 6), and believes vaccination was the best way to protect them from contracting the virus.
Aula Mohamad Fauzi, 31, said she will ensure her daughter receives the Covid-19 vaccine once she is eligible.
"I am confident with the current recommendations of the Health Ministry. I am convinced that the vaccine is the best defence for now. I understand there is a risk of side effects, but the effects of Covid-19 outweigh the risks (of vaccination),” she said.
Meanwhile, on social media, parents who received their children’s vaccination notification shared their excitement, as well as screenshots of vaccination appointment bookings.
Twitter user @faraferra9 tweeted: "Done (registered for child vaccination)... hopefully it can be beneficial and there is a good reason, amin. #PICKids,”
Another Twitter user @syikinyunusMD tweeted: "Alhamdulillah, received date for my son’s #PICKids. Taking this step to protect my son from #COVID, #LongCovid & MIS-C. ”
However, there were also parents who were not yet ready to vaccinate their children and were taking a wait-and-see approach on how the PICKids process works out, including reports of side effects on children.
As for civil servant, Farhah P Ramlee, 38, she has yet to register her three children for the Covid-19 vaccination, but is ready to consider.
Sales manager Ahmad Ghazi Fadillah, 42, is also taking a similar approach for his six-year-old girl for fear that she would not be able to withstand the side effects similar to what he experienced after getting the second dose of the vaccine last month.
Under PICKids, an estimated four million children in the age range are eligible to receive the mRNA vaccine, Comirnaty 10mcg Concentrate for Dispersion (Pfizer-BioNTech), which will be administered under the programme.
There are three vaccination centres for children (PPVKids) that parents can choose from when booking their child's vaccination appointment slot via MySejahtera, namely the PPV at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur and Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, as well as the Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) in Shah Alam, Selangor, starting Thursday.
In addition, 24 more PPVKids around the Klang Valley will be available starting Feb 5, and the list of PPVs can be obtained from the official website or social media sites of the Covid-19 Special Immunisation Task Force (CITF). - Bernama