Fatimah: Extend vaccination to individuals with special needs under associations

Fatimah (second left) with a special needs individual, Toh Hong Hui (second right) and his parents after being vaccinated.

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SIBU, June 16: Individuals with special needs under various associations should not be left out since
senior citizens at old folk homes in Sarawak have been covered a three-day National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for individuals with special needs.

Advocating for those with special needs under the care of associations, Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the programme has been kicked off in Sibu today at the Agape Centre here.

The first day involved 250 recipients aged 18 and above.

“We want more divisions to have the same program, especially Kuching which has a number of associations for people with special needs,” Fatimah said to the media when visiting the centre today, adding that the special vaccination programme for those with special needs was the first in the state.

Commenting on the program at Agape Centre, she said it was for individuals above 18 years of age with special needs and efforts will focus on getting enough vaccines to inoculate the targeted 750 recipients.

She said Agape Centre was the right venue for the program as the recipients felt at home since they are familiar with the place and the care-givers of the centre.

More attention and care were needed for individuals with special needs as they had the fear of needles.

“Since they fear needles, we need to be at their side to calm them down. But with the program at the Agape Centre, it does help to make them more comfortable as they are familiar with the place and care givers,” she said.

On another related matter, she hoped Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) would approve their applications to include the 1,440 teachers and 388 staff of private nurseries and kindergartens for vaccination.

“We have long applied to SDMC to give priority for the vaccination of all teachers and staff of nurseries and kindergartens,” she added.

Vaccination, Fatimah said, was necessary as her ministry had given nurseries and kindergartens special permission to operate so that the children of frontliners could be taken care of while they are at work. — DayakDaily