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The registration counter for the Covid-19 vaccination. ― Borneo Post pic
The registration counter for the Covid-19 vaccination. ― Borneo Post pic

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SIBU, May 28 ― Patients especially those suffering from comorbidities require vaccination at the hospital to ensure their own safety in case of emergency, Sibu Hospital director Dr Nanthakumar Thirunavukkarasu said.

This is because, he added, if patients suffer from any side effects that require immediate medical attention after the vaccination, they could be sent immediately to the emergency department to receive treatment.

“The vaccination at Sibu Hospital is not for members of the public. It is only for our patients having ongoing follow-ups at our specialist clinics and those having health problems,” he said, adding it is given to those identified as high-risk group ― those with comorbidities and senior citizens.

He was responding to a news report by a Chinese daily on Tuesday that a member of the public had questioned the logic of conducting vaccination at Sibu Hospital.

The complainant said since a hospital is a very high-risk area for Covid-19, senior citizens should have their vaccine at the Sibu Indoor Stadium or other places instead of the hospital.

Dr Nanthakumar said those receiving the vaccine outside Sibu Hospital are those who do not have serious health issues or are healthy.

“For our own patients, we have their records and if anything happened, we could mitigate better. We have record to show what health condition the patients have, and what medicine they take, so that we can assess if they are suitable for vaccines, and make adjustment to their treatment plan if need be,” he pointed out.

He also explained that the isolation and specialist clinics are far away from the Covid-19 block.

“We always make sure that our clinics are safe, so there is nothing to worry about. As you notice, since January, we have no single outbreak of Covid-19 at the hospital, if you compare to the places outside,” he said.

He said Sibu Hospital could vaccinate between 300 and 500 patients a day.

On another issue, he said he had also received complaints that there were many people lining up outside Counter 34 for MySalam registration.

“These are the people from outside, they are not our patients, so there is a little bit of crowd control issue. We are planning to change to other station, hopefully, it will resolve this problem,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, deputy director of the hospital, Dr Rachel Teng, said patients who received vaccination at the hospital are mostly suffering from at least two comorbidities, who might need immediate emergency care.

“So far, we have not encountered such problem. But we do not know, everybody has different reaction. So, these people ideally should not be vaccinated outside hospital,” she pointed out.

On the vaccination process, she said the patients are asked to come one hour before their appointment time, and would have to queue up outside Counter 34 before entering.

She said only 10 patients are allowed to enter Counter 34 at one time for crowd control, stressing it is important not to have too many people inside as there are also patients who come for their medical follow-ups.

She said at Counter 34, few counters were set up for registration purposes and to allow the doctors to interview the patients.

The patients would then receive their numbers before proceeding to the vaccination waiting area for their names to be called out to proceed to the vaccination room.

The patients would then be observed for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.

“So, overall, from the registration until here (vaccination), it is within one hour,” she said, adding that those with history of severe allergies and those who developed side effects would take longer time due to longer observation period.

Dr Teng said about 30 staffers are involved in the vaccination process at Sibu Hospital.

She urged patients who had registered for vaccination at the hospital to confirm their attendance when contacted.

“There were patients who refused to be vaccinated on the day of appointment. Thus, the staff had to make last minute phone calls to other patients so that the vaccines would not be wasted,” she said.

Meanwhile, paediatrician Dr Toh Teck Hock urged patients not to be picky with the vaccines.

“If you suddenly refuse to be vaccinated because the brand is not your preference, it will create unnecessary trouble to the staff because the staff have to make last minute phone calls to look for replacement and some people are not happy at being informed last minute,” he said. ― Borneo Post


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