By Seervina Kaur Virk (YES’15)

Three AFS returnees and three YES alumni volunteered to join the MyVAC initiative to help mobilize the vaccination program for Malaysians.

The Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre (KLWTC) vaccination center started operating at its full capacity to administer 8,100 jabs a day from its previous daily dose of 2,400 vaccinations on 15 May, and MyVac or Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers, was on hand to assist in the smooth flow of the vaccination process.   

We gathered at KLWTC early to receive our briefing from the Volunteer Supervisor. We were then assigned our roles and reminded to practice courtesy and good etiquette while on duty. Mohana Thamilarasu (YES’09), Tay Jia Hui (YES’12) and I were assigned to the registration counter at Station 2. Our tasks were to verify the vaccinees’ identity, review their vaccination appointment via the MySejahtera app, and take note of any health condition or allergies that they may have. We started receiving registrants from as early as 8.45a.m. until 10p.m.

This volunteering opportunity gave me a very brief insight of what it is like to be a frontliner. We were expecting around 8,000 people on that day. Given the number of stations and counters available, I expected to have screened at least 200 people throughout the course of the day. I wore double masks and a pair of gloves throughout the day. I even changed them after every few hours due to the risk of contamination since I was in the proximity of so many people and have not been vaccinated yet. Apart from the 30-minute lunch break that we had, my team and I were working continuously throughout the day for over 12 hours to ensure that the registration process was smooth and efficient to avoid overcrowding at the venue. At the vaccination center, there were also medical volunteers available to assist vaccinees with any queries they may have and to administer the vaccines. In the evening, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation YB Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin paid KLWTC a visit to monitor the entire vaccination process. We had the honor of working alongside YB at the registration counter as he personally wanted to experience the registration process. Several vaccinees were thrilled to meet and be screened by YB himself.

This experience has reminded me once again of how much effort is being put in to have the Covid-19 situation in our country under control. Medical and non-medical volunteers who show up at vaccination centers every single day to work tirelessly in order to make sure people get vaccinated have my utmost respect. With the current and previous Movement Control Orders (MCO), we have also witnessed armed forces and the police stationed at roadblocks. Regardless of the weather, they show up everyday to enforce the SOPs. In hospitals, I can only imagine the immense stress that doctors and nurses are going through every day. It must require great resilience to be able to carry out their duties while having to witness patients in life threatening conditions and having to put the needs of the community above their own.

To ensure all these efforts are not futile, we have to continue to play our part as responsible citizens by avoiding unnecessary trips outside our homes and to take precautionary measures when we do go out for supplies.