Now that effective vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed and are being distributed to members of the public, it is key for us to understand the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines and why they greatly outweigh mild potential side effects or inconvenience that may be associated. The possibility of serious complications for anyone who gets the virus — along with the public health consequences of the pandemic’s continuing its course — are strong reasons in favor of getting vaccinated. It creates an antibody response, so that one is protected without having to experience the illness, at least not  life-threatening.

One AFS Returnee is leading the vaccination programme in Lawas, Sarawak where cases have spiked recently. Dr Eujene Liyu went on his intercultural journey on three Intensive Programs – Japan, Italy and Egypt – when he was in Form 3 to Form 5. The experience has stood him in good stead as he battles misconceptions, conspiracy theories, hesitation and fear about the vaccines among the locals. Here is what he has to say: