June 14, 2021, by Lee Mei Kee
My Experience as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre Volunteer
In January 2020, the first COVID-19 case was reported in Malaysia marking the beginning of the devastating virus outbreak in the country. Now, a year later, a massive vaccine rollout is being carried out nationwide under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK). On the 15th and 16th May 2021, I volunteered as part of BP Healthcare group for the AstraZeneca vaccination programme at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur. The workforce that were stationed here also included the police and volunteers from other NGOs. During the two days, around 16,000 appointments were scheduled here from 9am to 10pm. AstraZeneca vaccines were given to individuals who voluntarily opted for this vaccine via the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) website. In my opinion, this very good measure allows as many people to get vaccinated thus reducing the chances of contracting the virus and reducing hospitalizations. Herd immunity that the government is aiming for can be achieved with this immunisation plan.
Individuals who had appointments have to go through 5 steps, with the first step for temperature checking, second for registration, third for a doctor’s consultation, fourth for the vaccination itself and finally a 15 minute observation before leaving. I was stationed at the vaccination area where the main task was to usher individuals into vacant booths in order to speed up the vaccination process and reduce the waiting time. I also assisted the nurses in helping individuals to scan the QR codes indicating that they have received their vaccine doses. This is a very crucial step as it allows those who have vaccinated will be able to receive another appointment date for their second dose in 12 weeks. Working alongside others, our priority is to ensure the SOPs in place are adhered to and to provide assistance to people who come, making sure their vaccination process goes smoothly. I was very impressed with the handling of the vaccination process here as everyone followed the social distancing rules and any technical issues that came up were resolved quickly by the efficient staff hence the vaccination process was relatively fast for most people.
On the second day, the Prime Minister and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister visited the vaccination centre. It was a great pleasure to see them interacting with the public and observing the vaccination drive. As I have also registered for the AZ vaccine a few weeks earlier, I managed to get my first dose on the 16th before finishing my shift. I’m so grateful and relieved that I have done my part by getting vaccinated.
All in all, this was a very meaningful experience that allowed me to help out for a good initiative to improve the current COVID-19 situation in the country. Now that the government has extended the AstraZeneca vaccination programme I am planning to volunteer for more days during my summer break in June and July.
This article is written by Hashwinder Kaur A/P Satpal Singh, MPharm Year 2 student.