The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme begins today with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the first in Malaysia to be vaccinated.
The prime minister will be joined by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and four frontliners in receiving their jabs at Klinik Kesihatan Putrajaya.
Nevertheless, the debate of getting vaccinated lingers.
Many have expressed their eagerness to get vaccinated as they look forward to living in a safer and healthier environment.
However, there are also those who remain skeptical and ponder about the side effects. They prefer to adopt the wait-and-see approach.
Certain quarters mock the need for the vaccine but have no qualms taking unauthorised and dubious health supplements and cosmetics.
The World Health Organisation says the Covid-19 vaccines protect against the disease as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
“Developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed.
“Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you because if you are protected from getting infected, you are less likely to infect someone else.
“This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19, such as healthcare providers, the elderly and those with other medical conditions.”
Malaysia has 288,229 Covid-19 cases to date, resulting in 1,076 deaths.
Twentytwo13 asks Malaysians if they are ready to receive the vaccine. Here’s what they say:
Elgin Voon, 21, associate sports psychologist
“Yeah, I’m ready! I don’t want to die (from Covid-19). The vaccine has been tested, there are many journals and researches to back the usage of the vaccine.
I’ve spoken to friends who are doctors and in the medical profession and they too say it is safe. After all, we are talking about an emergency so yes, I would rather get vaccinated than die.”
Salim Ismail Gany, 39, business owner
“I’m looking forward to being vaccinated as it will give me access to travel and meet people. I’m sure my body can take it as based on my previous health checks, I don’t have any underlying medical issues.”
Melanie Noelle Dass, 25, public relations practitioner
“I do see the need for it, given the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia. But honestly, I’m still quite skeptical about the vaccination. It remains unclear if there are any side effects and perhaps when more people get vaccinated, we will then be able to make a more informed decision.”
Tajuddin Abd Rahman, 61, retiree
“Yes, I’m ready to get vaccinated. I believe it will offer protection against the dreaded Covid-19 and will allow me to go on about the new normal life with less anxiety.”
Rheanne Wong, 22, law student
“Yes, I’m ready for it. The vaccine has been tested and has a 95 per cent success rate, so that’s quite high. It’s something that needs to be done and I have no problems being vaccinated.”
Andher Supardy Lazuardi, 38, travel consultant
“Sooner or later the vaccination will be a necessity. If you don’t take it, you may not be allowed to travel abroad. It’s like some countries that require yellow fever vaccinations but the Covid-19 vaccination will eventually be a global requirement. So whether you like it or not, you just have to take it. I’ll surely get vaccinated.”
T. Manikavaasagam, 59, school teacher
“I’m ready to be vaccinated. It’s not like we have a choice because taking the jab is the only way to keep us safe. I regard teachers as frontliners as we face students and we need to keep our students and their families safe. I’m diabetic but I believe it’s a calculated risk and I will get myself vaccinated.”
Yanti Abbas, 46, senior sales manager
“Not that soon for me. I would want to see if it works for others first.”
George Heng, 72, businessman
“I must go and register. I have no choice. If I don’t get vaccinated, the danger of getting Covid-19 is there. If I want to move around and don’t want to hurt others, then I should not be selfish and must get myself vaccinated.
Some people talk about side effects. Let’s put it this way. When you are ready to be vaccinated you have to be prepared to face side effects. It’s something that has to be done. If you don’t get vaccinated, you’ll eventually get into trouble (infected with coronavirus).”
Kamarul Akhir, 44, photographer
“I have to. It’s not like I have a choice because of the line of work I’m in. I’ll be heading to Tokyo for the Olympics in July. The vaccination will give me peace of mind.”
Christina Lim Pooi Li, 46, entrepreneur
“Yes, of course, I will get the vaccine. It might help to prevent me from being infected and to protect the people around me. It would also mean I am protected if others around have the coronavirus.”
Zulfakri Ramli, 38, contractor
“I’m not against the vaccine and I’m not an anti-vaxxer but I’m not willing to be vaccinated. Why? Because as long as I am healthy, I don’t see the need for it. However, I’m glad and thankful that the vaccine is ready and available.”
Lily Haslinda Rusli, 50, housewife
“Not at the moment. I am a little cautious about the vaccine. Does this mean I will not get Covid-19? I will probably wait until it is mandatory.”
Tan Phaik Lim, 64, retiree
“I’m skeptical for now as I’m prone to allergies. Although I’m in the high-risk group as I suffer from diabetes, I prefer to take the wait-and-see approach.”
Muhammad Azan Mohd Arifin, 40, marine captain
“We don’t know for sure how it will affect people as our immune systems are different. We still don’t know the long-term effects. As such, I would like to wait for the time being.”