THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is concerned about the slow pace in registrations for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, expressing doubts of reaching the target of getting 80% of the country’s population immunised by February 2022.
“We should aim to complete inoculating the population as early as possible and by this year,” it said in a statement.
That in mind, the association hopes that influential groups like community leaders, village heads of religious groups, corporate leaders, the business community, professional associations or even social influencers would do their part in getting the respective communities to register early.
“We have waited a year over for a way out of the pandemic and the answer has finally arrived. But many Malaysians seem to be hesitant about registering themselves for various reasons even now when the solution to the pandemic is available,” it added.
According to MMA, there has already been sufficient evidence to show that the vaccines are safe, as they have been approved for use in the country by Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
Regardless of that, even if there were any side effects from the vaccine, it is known to be mild and any serious side effects are rare.
It is noteworthy to keep in mind that the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks of not doing so.
It is especially crucial for older persons and those with comorbidities to register now as the vaccination for these groups will begin soon (in April) under the NIP’s Phase Two.
However, a person should avoid taking the vaccine if they are known to have allergies to any component in the vaccine. Even if they have allergies, they may be able to take one of the other vaccines.
Therefore, the MMA urges the public to register as quickly as possible as getting vaccinated will also protect the unvaccinated.
“The sooner the population is inoculated, the sooner the country can recover from the impact of the pandemic as businesses will be able to operate confidently without disruptions. Sectors that have been shut may be able to open once again if their workers are vaccinated,” it said.
Currently, several countries are also in talks on allowing international travel for vaccinated travellers.
“Those who need to travel or enjoy travelling should get themselves ready now by registering for the jab.” – March 13, 2021