JEMPOL, June 20 — Lack of understanding about the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine, fear of needles and strong belief in traditional medicine are among the factors why many Orang Asli people are shunning the vaccine.
Realising this, a Jempol District Health Office (PKD) team today went to the ground with representatives of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), Jempol Parliamentary Office representatives and Orang Asli community representatives, to convince the community in Kampung Orang Asli Panchor, into taking the vaccine jabs.
Although persuading them is not an easy task, Jempol District Vaccination Centre (PPV) coordinator Dr Ismul Adham Zaini, said it must still be implemented to ensure the country’s aspiration to achieve herd immunity can be achieved by the end of this year.
“Before this, the number of Orang Asli settlers who agreed to get vaccinated had been very low because many are afraid of needles and they believe more in traditional medicine.
“However, after we gave briefings, explanations and made house-to-house visits there was an increase in self-awareness and many expressed their willingness to take the vaccine this Tuesday,” he told Bernama here today.
He said the house-to-house briefing today was the first to be held in the district and this was focused on the elderly and the sick to prepare them before the mobile unit team’s arrival at their homes on Tuesday to give the vaccine jabs.
Dr Ismul Adham said apart from the mobile unit, his team would set up a temporary PPV at the community hall in the village to facilitate walk-in vaccine shots for more than 100 residents.
Meanwhile, Jempol District Jakoa officer Jamiri Taman is confident that the people’s level of awareness and acceptance would increase after more Orang Asli were vaccinated.
“Jakoa will always work with PKD to enable all of them to be vaccinated,” he said.
Meanwhile, couple Mazlan Taki, 71 and Zainun Abdullah, 51 said they agreed to get vaccinated after feeling satisfied and confident with the explanation given by the health workers.
“When a doctor came to the house to explain, only then did we understand that the vaccine could protect us from Covid-19 infection and I can’t wait to get vaccinated on Tuesday,” said Mazlan. — Bernama