GEORGE TOWN: Ten-year-old G. Shivvaen is a happy boy after finally getting his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I feel a bit weak in my arm but it’s perfectly fine. It didn’t hurt at all. I’m happy to be vaccinated. Now I can go to school and actually go out,” he said.
Shivvaen and his five-year-old brother G. Dhanvinn went for their jabs at the state Health Department clinic in Jalan Residensi here yesterday accompanied by their mother M. Malini, 39.
Shivvaen’s wish is that everyone would be vaccinated.
“Then we can have gatherings and resume normal life,” he said.
Malini, who is a paediatrician, said while she encouraged everybody to be vaccinated, it was the boys’ decision to get vaccinated.
“Shivvaen has been asking to be vaccinated as he feels that he will be safer and able to do normal activities including communicating with his friends,” she said.
The brothers were among the first to receive their vaccine on the first day of the Covid-19 vaccination programme for children aged five to 11 in Penang.
State health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said only 10 children were selected to kick-start the drive as each vial contained 10 doses of the vaccine for children.
“We started with children with comorbidities and at high risk.
“This is the best method to protect them besides the Covid-19 curbs already in place,” she said.
Dr Norlela also said that discussions were being held with the Education Department to hold vaccination drives within the schools.
She said so far about 40,000 out of the 160,000 children in Penang had registered to be vaccinated.
As for the targeted vaccination rate, Dr Norlela said reactions and side effects would be monitored before opening up vaccination centres at other health clinics.
“I’ve proposed that vaccination centres in the hospitals have a hotline to be in touch with the children and keep track of their progress,” she said.