By Nur Aina Fathihah
Malaysia will be able to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 virus when 82.8 percent of Malaysian people receive the vaccine prepared by the Malaysian government for free. In order for all Malaysians to become immune from COVID-19, we need to stop the spread of the virus from person to person until the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.
However, recently, an issue arose among some sections of Malaysian society who refused to get vaccinated, especially the elders. This issue is worrying the government because the cases keep on increasing, achieving almost 10,000 cases with a hundred deaths just in a day. Also, the emergence of new variants causing the disease to spread vastly and rapidly in that patients are not showing any symptoms, becoming a factor of many deaths reported today. This is one of the reasons why the government has urged all Malaysian to get vaccinated in an instant.
BERNAMA recently reported that more than 10,000 individuals who registered as COVID-19 vaccine recipients did not attend the vaccination appointment session in Terengganu while Kelantan also recorded the same number at the end of May as reported by Sinar Harian.
Also, Metro reported that 9.8 percent of Johoreans who registered for the vaccine failed to attend the appointment in March. Afterall, Utusan Malaysia has highlighted that there will be appropriate compounds issued later for those who failed to attend the appointment as raised by the Malaysian government to avoid spending loss and chances of loss for those who are interested in vaccines.
Plus, it is important for high-risk seniors to be vaccinated because this group is prone to get severe symptoms if infected with the COVID-19 virus. If a patient has a history of diabetes, heart or kidney disease, for example, the COVID-19 virus can result in organ failure of the patient, and if cured will leave permanent scars on those organs. In addition, the new variant, not only harms the senior group, but it also can cause fatal harm to young adults, kids and even healthy infected people.
It is heartbreaking to see a viral video of a man who died at the MAEPS Low-Risk Patient and Treatment Centre, Serdang, Selangor recently. Before this, death news only involved those who are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and most of them were the elders and those who have comorbidities. But this time, it is not the same anymore. Thus, this shows the importance for all, especially the elders, to understand the role of vaccines to the human body after getting vaccinated, and prevention is needed from getting false and unrealistic information.
There have been several issues that arose due to the spread of false information about COVID-19 vaccines. For instance, many senior citizens worried about experiencing the effects of blood clots as touted in the media before. This misunderstanding must be corrected. These symptoms of blood clots can only occur to recipients of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine and the risk is very low.
In fact, when comparisons are made, physicians state that an individual who smokes is 20 to 30 times more likely to develop a blood clot than an individual who does not smoke. Hence, Malaysian people should be considerate in making decisions, it is either believing a fact or a personal opinion.
Furthermore, it is viral about the issue of a chip being planted in the human body when getting vaccinated, the issue of syringe used for the vaccine injection, the issue of a magnet can be attached to the body after being vaccinated, and others. It turns out that all of these were false news that is being spread through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc.
Thus, it is important to address all Malaysians to get information from the correct sources, and one reliable source that all can depend on regarding this situation is the Ministry of Health.
Also, it is required for all to think before spreading any information. To spread information or news to others, a person should check for its source, verify it, and consider whether it is going to benefit or harm others. Do not just believe straight away everything we received from the Internet because things can be true and also false. In fact, it is impossible to control what has been posted on the Internet, but as a person all are capable of doing so.
Lastly, if there are still individuals, family, or neighbours around us who are still skeptical about the vaccine, advise them to immediately see a doctor, discuss and seek advice from an expert or we may also be able to set an appointment with a counsellor for them. Do not let them be of disservice to themselves with the false news.
It is our responsibility as a person. Also, get ourselves vaccinated. When everyone realises his or her respective duty, a herd community is then possible to create and all of us will be able to operate a normal life like before. Start encouraging everyone and be a model for them. Remember, action speaks louder than words.
Thus, let’s show our love to the self, family, society and nation by getting vaccinated. Let’s together help each other to achieve herd immunity so that all are able to live in the normal way filled with cheers and laughs. ***