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By Arjasneh Ahmad
KINABATANGAN, June 11 -- Being far in the interior areas and over 20 kilometres away from the nearest vaccination centre in Kinabatangan Hospital, the workers of the Kertam oil palm plantation here were over the moon with the arrival of the COVID-19 mobile vaccination team.
Challenges in terms of transportation, roads and the rising cases of COVID-19 in the city, have made it hard for the estate workers to go out for vaccination, hence the vaccination team was welcomed like superheroes who come to ‘rescue’ the residents in the area.
Worry that he might become a carrier of COVID-19, an estate worker, Leng Kar Heang, 70, said he took the vaccine to protect his family from the virus.
“I am more confident to work after this...the mobile vaccination programme is great because we are living in an estate which is far from the city and the vaccination centre. Everyone is happy when the vaccine arrived, it’s liked welcoming a superhero,” he said to Bernama here, today.
Halimah Jamitah, 44, and her daughter Eva Alvinah Samsul, 21, admitted that they were at first influenced by rumours that the COVID-19 vaccine would harm them, but changed their minds after seeing the vaccination process for themselves.
“After observing the vaccination process which fully adheres to the standard operating procedures, we feel more confident to take up the vaccine. Moreover, all recipients seem to be healthy afterwards including the elderly,” said Ava Alvinah.
Estate manager Sinoh Kulipang, 45, thanked the government and the Health Ministry (MOH) for conducting the vaccination programme in plantation areas and urged the community to support the programme for the benefit of oneself, family and society as a whole.
“This vaccination programme makes it easier for plantation workers to get the vaccine as we are having difficulties to go out following the implementation of the total lockdown from June 1 to 14,” he said.
The mobile vaccination team, which comprised 17 personnel from the MOH, Kinabatangan district Health Department and Civil Defence Force, aims to inoculate 300 workers at plantation areas.
Kinabatangan district officer Abd Manap Abd Ruhim said the effort to bring COVID-19 vaccines to the plantation area was highly welcomed, and the plantation management also cooperated by providing a place to conduct the vaccination process.
“At the moment, the vaccine shots are only for locals, (but) foreign workers from the high-risk group will also be considered for vaccination,” he said.
As of May 27, a total of 24,408 residents of the district had registered as vaccine recipients, and a total of 5,699 people had completed both vaccine doses while 3,483 people had received their first dose.
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