UTAR Kampar Campus also an on-site vaccination centre
In its ongoing effort to give back to the community through social responsibility projects and initiatives, UTAR Kampar Campus now also serves as a public vaccination centre from 15 July 2021 onwards, for individuals who received their appointments through MySejahtera. As part of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, the vaccination centre targets to administer more than 1,200 vaccination doses per day. This is also the University’s effort to support the aim of the Malaysian government to vaccinate as many people as it can per day through more than 600 vaccination centres to achieve herd immunity. This effort is an addition to the ongoing Covid-19 Drive-through Vaccination programme that officially kick-started on 21 June 2021.
The vaccination site is located in Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik. On the first day, 32 volunteers were present to assist in screening the symptoms and body temperature, handling registrations, managing crowd control and handling the call centre. The volunteers include UTAR staff and students, as well as the public from the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MyVAC) initiative. MyVAC was established in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI), Ministry of Youth & Sports (KBS), Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) and Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) to assist in the roll-out of the government’s vaccination programme, by deploying willing individuals to be part of the vaccination team. This volunteer mobilisation programme will be a crucial instrument to drive Malaysia’ vaccination campaign and achieve “Herd Immunity”.
UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, commented, “We are very happy to be able to work with Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD) to run this vaccination centre at our Kampar Campus. UTAR, as a not-for-profit university, and a university by the people for the people, is indeed honoured to contribute to the country, doctors and society, and assist in the vaccination process in order to achieve herd immunity. We are also happy to provide the facility and volunteers consisting of our staff and students, and we are thankful to the sponsors who have enabled this operation to go on successfully. Currently, the drive-thru vaccination programme is still ongoing and is managed by two medical staff from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.” Prof Choong is also the coordinator of Covid-19 Drive-through Vaccination Centre in Kampar Campus.
One of the MyVAC volunteers Ainur Haslina binti Rusri, who is an SPM school leaver, commented, “I participated in the volunteer programme because I wanted to learn and experience handling and managing the vaccination programme. When I found out about this volunteer opportunity from my school and alumni WhatsApp group, I was happy because I finally get to contribute to this programme. I believe our volunteering effort is very much needed and appreciated because we want to help the government deliver the vaccine to the community so we can achieve herd immunity.”
Her friend Nur Afiqah binti Ibrahim, who is also from MyVAC and an SPM school leaver said, “I have always been interested in volunteer works. It enables me to keep myself active. I have also previously volunteered in non-governmental organisation (NGO) projects because it is a good deed to help our community in any way we can.”
She added, “Volunteering to me is a good way to build self-confidence, especially when we are required to communicate with different people. Secondly, volunteering in this Covid-19 Immunisation Programme enabled me to understand our frontliners’ work in handling the vaccinees and appreciate their effort. Thirdly, this volunteer work helped to develop my teamwork skill when I worked with other volunteers. Therefore, I am happy and grateful for this experience and opportunity because many have registered under MyVac but not all were selected. I would also like to encourage people to volunteer because this is a good experience, and with this current pandemic, volunteers are needed to ease the progress of the vaccination programme.”
Dr Yip Foo Win from the Department of Chemical Science of Faculty of Science commented, “I may not come from a medical field, but I can still do my role and play my part to serve the community and help the frontliners in this current pandemic. I learnt about this volunteer opportunity from social media and UTAR email. I wanted to participate because the programme needs more manpower and I hope that with the help from the volunteers, the vaccination centre can run smoothly. Even though I am just a volunteer, I am happy to be able to join the effort to get more people vaccinated so we can have a healthy Malaysia again.”
Kokilha Govinda from Library said, “I am glad to be able to help with this vaccination programme. It might seem like a small role, but as volunteers, we are helping the government to get more people vaccinated. I would like to encourage others to volunteer in this programme as well so it can run smoothly. We want a healthy Malaysia again.”
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biotechnology student Damien Chua Shang Yi said he volunteered because he wanted to make good use of his time helping the community. “I saw the programme from UTAR email and I was happy to be able to contribute to ending phase two of the vaccination programme, so we can enter phase three as soon as possible. That way, more people can be vaccinated. Volunteering is surely exciting because I learnt a lot from this activity,” said Chua.
Ishwinder Kaur Jasbeer Singh, a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology student also agreed with Chua. She said, “Volunteering for this programme was a good experience as we were able to acquire new skills. These skills could also be useful for our work in the future. I am glad I joined as a volunteer, so I would like to encourage others to give it a try as well.”