Aiming for 50% coverage of vaccination rate

I am keeping this here because they got my name right. Not Yasmeen or Jasmine.

So far, Melaka is at 48% of completed 2nd dose of the vaccine. Once the state reaches 50%, we could hopefully slide into the next phase of the National Recovery Plan. As someone working behind the scenes, the situation is not as rosy. Meeting targets means stretching ourselves short. Working on weekends and public holidays. It got to a point when my daughter told me one day to stop going to work. But I still had to leave after a lot of reassurance. I am still thankful that I could see her waking up and tucking her in bed at night. Some of the front liners do not have such luxury.

I am all for vaccination.

However, the current policy of mandatory vaccination to enter public premises and all, is something I feel needs to be scrutinized. The problem with such implementation at the society level is such that it can be too ‘strict’ so much so that it is not accepting isolated cases where members of the public who are not fit for vaccination. Which leaves the MOH again in figuring out a way of how to certify the medical conditions of these individuals. Do we have them assessed by certain specialists? Do they get a special certificate or memo regarding their health status? So far, since I am part of the mobile team, I have yet to come across these ‘special’ cases but I am sure I will encounter them in the near future.

Vaccine Mobile Team

I have been absorbed into the vaccine mobile team at my current workplace. Somehow, my superior is convinced that I could contribute well as a vaccinator considering my previous participation as one in my past clinic. At the moment, the vaccine mobile team plays a role in going to the potential vaccinees who are having difficulties to go to the vaccination centre themselves. These group of people are usually part of the marginalized community. So far, the government mobile teams have been going to old folks home at nearby areas. This correlates with the objectives of PICK’s 2nd phase of vaccinating the elderly population and those with medical comorbidities. Soon, this service will be extended to those living in the very rural areas of the country, prisons and others.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is also working closely with medical NGOs like IMARET and MERCY Malaysia to materialize these efforts. Once these NGOs can work independently, these outreach activities will be delegated to them so as the MOH team could concentrate on their respective vaccination centres.

Last week I shadowed my senior counterpart in learning the ways on how to manage these sessions. Starting from making the line-listing on Excel, ordering the vaccines and checking on the team for the day. The vaccine mobile team will consist of one medical officer, an assistant medical officer and two nurses. I have to learn everything as fast as I can on that day cause I will be on my own next week for 3 days in a row. I hope I don’t screw up. Allah, help…

I had the opportunity to meet up with the MERCY volunteers as well. Bless their soul for participating in the programme in their free time. They have a heart of gold. PICK is scheduled to go on till next year. Like it or not, the world needs to accept the new normal.

Vaccinator Team in action

Being in the middle of the medical fraternity food chain, puts you in a position where you have to cover for those above you or below you. In other words, you clean the mess or be the diving midwife (bidan terjun). The national vaccine programme started on the 24th of February 2021. It was officiated by the PM, Tan Sri Datuk Muhyiddin Yassin. On the same Friday, the first few vaccinator team members had their jabs including myself. Our moments were very low-key. No banners, no speech, just sign the consent, had the vaccine, observed for 30 minutes and then we were good to go. We received the Pfizer brand where 1 vial = 6 people.

The following week, there was an officiating ceremony at my state by the Chief Minister. I was told that I need to do some briefing for the participants. I was expecting that the CM will be one of them with his entourage. Maybe bodyguards or office staff. Turns out it was a big event for all the big guns in the state. I was flabbergasted. I was not prepared for this. I mean, what kind of honourifics do they use? how best should I address them? The last thing I want is to piss off an official just because I got the name wrong. shouldn’t you have like at least a specialist to give the briefing? why have an ikan bilis like me?! Until now, I still cannot brain the logic of having a medical officer doing this very important task. ni memang nak throw me under the bus ke apa.

I still ploughed through the sessions. Thankfully, there were no mean comments. The officials were quite nice actually apart from a few who had their nose stuck in the air. After the morning session, my team had a quick lunch and zohor prayers. We had an appointment at TYT’s place. 12 people are due to be vaccinated there. Again, another briefing. I was totally exhausted from the adrenaline. There was another medical team on standby from the emergency department. They sent an emergency physician to lead the team. I felt relieved. At least, there is a specialist I can consult should shit happens.

My day ended at 6pm. That’s just the 1st dose. I wonder if I have to see them on the 2nd dose.