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KEPALA BATAS, Sept 22 -- The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) for Adolescents which targets teenagers aged between 12 and 17 received overwhelming response from parents who viewed the programme as comprehensive to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Because of that, PICK Adolescents which also involved boarding school students is also believed to be able to ensure that the risk of infection at schools can be reduced as well as preventing new clusters and cases among the school population when school re-opens soon.
A parent, Azman Hussin, 46 said as a father, he was relieved to know that his eldest, Muhammad ‘Aqil Azman, 16, a student of Malay College Kuala Kangsar had been vaccinated.
“I am relieved because my son is vaccinated and I hope the vaccination programme can be extended to all Malaysians to minimise the spread of COVID-19 infections apart from paving the way for students to continue with their studies like before,” he said when met at Dewan Milenium Kepala Batas vaccination centre (PPV) here today.
Meanwhile, Muhammad ‘Aqil said he could not wait to go back to school after getting his vaccination after being away for five months.
“I am happy now that I have been vaccinated. I can’t wait for go back to school and study like before,” he said adding that students should unite in making the vaccination programme by the government a success for the sake universal health.
In the meantime, Adawiyah Mustafa, 41, mother of Nur Aina Wafa Abdul Karim, 16, of Kepala Batas Science School said she supported the government’s effort to vaccinate students which could help contain the spread of new COVID-19 cases which is showing a slight drop.
“I give my full cooperation to this vaccination programme, in fact I will not hesitate to be among the earliest to bring my child to the PPV for vaccination to eventually help achieve our herd immunity target as suggested by the government,” said Adawiyah who is also a teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Juru near Seberang Perai Tengah, Butterworth.
A Bernama survey at the Dewan Milenium Kepala Batas PPV discovered that situation was under control with parents accompanying their children for vaccination coming as early as 10 am.
Meanwhile at the SPICE Convention Centre PPV near Bayan Baru in George Town, twins Danish Husni and Danial Husni, 16 appeared to be excited about getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
Their mother, Rodiah Pariti, 53 said she did not find it a hassle bringing her sons to get vaccinated because she viewed this as her responsibility as a mother in ensuring the health of children are secured.
“Their boarding school is near Kepala Batas, so they should be vaccinated because they will be going back to school soon. I am not so worried now. I only hope that they adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP),” said Rodiah who lives in Air Itam near George Town.
PICK Adolescents was officially launched on Sept 20 targeting some 3.2 million teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years-old.
PICK Adolescents started earlier in Sarawak on Sept 8 and Labuan on Sept 11 after the vaccination rate in the state and federal territory achieved 80 per cent while in Sabah, the programme started on Sept 16 because a majority of the teenagers lived in remote areas and needed more time to participate outreach activities.
PICK Adolescents is being handled by the COVID-19 Adolescent Special Task Force (CITF-A) chaired by Deputy Heatlh Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
In a statement, CITF-A said initially they targeted 60 per cent of teenagers aged between 12 and 17 will have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by November and 80 per cent will get their complete dose before school reopens for the 2022 session.
In Penang, the vaccination programme involving boarding schools students aged between 16 and 17 kicked off today, while the vaccination session involving students aged 16 and 17 without comorbidities will be conducted at six PPVs starting tomorrow.
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