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KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — After receiving her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali has explained that she received it as a senior citizen to encourage others to do the same.
In a video message for International Women’s Day yesterday, Dr Siti Hasmah said she made the decision to help allay fears that some Malaysians may have about getting vaccinated.
“I will be going to Langkawi Island, to accompany my husband, who has the right to receive the vaccine because he is an MP.
“I took it because I am a senior citizen, not because I am the wife of MP Dr Mahathir (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad).
“I wanted to receive the vaccine as a senior citizen to also encourage others, especially senior citizens, to get vaccinated as well,” she said.
Dr Siti Hasmah’s message came after both she and Dr Mahathir received the Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday.
At the same time, she also explained that many may still harbour fears about the vaccine and could be deterred due to a lack of understanding.
“The vaccine is an antiviral vaccine, and it is for prevention, not treatment of the Covid-19 virus.
“Again, I want to stress that this vaccine helps prevent the rakyat from contracting Covid-19 and other mutations of the virus. It is not a treatment,” she said.
As for those who are afraid of possible pain from the injection, the 94-year-old said it felt just like an “ant bite”.
“Just a little bit of pain, that’s all,” she said.
While they may remain undecided about the vaccine, Dr Siti Hasmah still encouraged these members of the public to get themselves registered to ease the vaccination process in time to come.
“That’s alright. If people want to wait, at least register first.
“Perhaps after seeing that other people and I are still healthy after receiving both vaccine shots, they may change their minds.
“So should you want it or not, just register yourself first, because when you do decide to take it, your name is already there. It makes things easier,” she added.
Malaysia is undergoing the first phase of its National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which aims to vaccinate some 500,000 frontline workers by April.
This will be followed by the vaccination of the elderly and those chronically ill in the programme’s second phase, and finally the vaccination of adults above the age of 18 in the third phase later this year.