With around 10,000 people failing to attend their second phase of vaccination in Kelantan, a lot of people are understandably furious and frustrated.
According to MStar, those who did not attend were mainly senior citizens aged 60 and above, using their health concerns and private matters as an excuse. On the other hand, there are the elderly in rural areas who want to get vaccinated but have no internet access to register and cannot travel. The issue is so pertinent, that the government is mulling on whether to issue compounds to individuals who don’t show up.
As discouraging it may sound, 105-year-old Jaafar Awang Mat debunked the anti-vaccine stigma amongst other villagers as he attended his vaccine appointment as scheduled.
Better known as Ayah Pa, he has become the oldest man in Malaysia to get vaccinated as of time of writing.
Jaafar’s grandchild, Noor Azriena Syamsuri Md Nor said that her grandfather received his first dose of vaccine at the assigned PPV, Sri Tunjong Hall of State Education Department (JPN) Kelantan in Kota Bharu.
Azriena, better known as Suri, said that her grandfather’s age is 99-years-old according to his identity card but he is in fact turning 105-years-old in July.
“In the old days, people did not rush to make their identity card. According to Ayah Pa’s real age he is in fact 105-years-old. Alhamdulillah he still has his vigour and is energetic.”
“The only health issue Ayah Pa struggles with is his asthma. My husband brought him to the vaccination centre while I brought my parents to their assigned centre on the same day.”
The 33-year-old added that Ayah Pa is a father to 7 children with more than 35 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
Suri said that Ayah Pa was not bothered by the negativity and conspiracies circulating around talks of vaccine and he volunteered to get vaccinated with an open heart.
“Ayah Pa said that he was very calm during the vaccination and he’s not experiencing any major side effects.”
Ayah Pa said he was once influenced by anti-vaccination opinions as he would always listen to talks on the radio where some would engage in anti-vaccination discourse, but he ultimately opted to get vaccinated despite his age.
“Before the MCO, Ayah Pa likes to get on his bicycle and take a stroll around the village, sometimes he would visit the coffee shop where there would be more negative talks of the vaccine.”
While some have said to him that it can lead to death, Ayah Pa is determined that we must find a way to prevent the virus hence why the vaccine should be taken as a precautionary measure.
Suri explained how deeply grateful she is that Ayah Pa is positive on the matter and hopes that more senior citizens will get on the same track as him.