Covid-19: N. Sembilan Jakoa proactive in getting more Orang Asli vaccinated

A senior citizen receives their Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at Dewan Kompleks Sukan Pandamaran in Klang May 7, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A senior citizen receives their Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at Dewan Kompleks Sukan Pandamaran in Klang May 7, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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SEREMBAN, June 13 — The Negri Sembilan Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) together with the District Health Centre (PKD) are proactive in ensuring more Orang Asli get vaccinated through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Negri Sembilan and Melaka Jakoa director, Shahrani Idderis said various initiatives were carried out, including visits by the agencies’ officers to Orang Asli villages each day or three times a week to check names and distribute forms so that no one would be left out of the vaccination process.

“The Seremban PKD together with Jakoa will also run a special Covid-19 vaccination programme for the Orang Asli in this district soon but for now, we cannot gather them for talks...so this is our big constraint,” she told Bernama, here, today.

She said as of June 10, out of 4,648 vaccine registration forms distributed, only 32 Orang Asli individuals have received the jabs, 857 agreed to vaccination while 1,138 refused to be vaccinated.

“The number is low compared to the 8,167 Orang Asli in 69 villages in the state who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

“Most of the Orang Asli are scared, uninterested and have a wait-and-see attitude towards the vaccination effort due to the influence of inaccurate news on social media.

“I believe their level of awareness and acceptance will rise when many of them have been vaccinated. Jakoa will always work with the PKD to get this community vaccinated,” she added.

Meanwhile, Shahrani said the state Jakoa had discussed with their respective PKDs so that those who agreed to get vaccinated were given priority, especially the tok batin (village headmen) as they could be role models to the residents.

On June 6, Rural Development Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad reportedly said that 127,669 Orang Asli individuals nationwide had been identified to receive the Covid-19 vaccine injections.

He noted that so far, Jakoa had received 39,174 registration forms from the Orang Asli who agreed to be vaccinated but about 25,215 in the community were identified as not agreeing to the vaccination. — Bernama

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