MELAKA: The fear of possible side effects in relation to the two stents placed in his heart and negative social media reports on the Covid-19 booster vaccine had initially caused civil servant S. Shekar to reject the third jab.

Shekar, 58, said he had rejected twice his booster shot appointment on MySejahtera because of such fears but finally decided to bury all these negative thoughts on the advice of his family.

“I rejected the appointment twice because I have two stents in my heart and was doubtful about the booster jab despite having taken the first two doses.

“My doubts were fuelled by many negative stories and reports on the booster dose, and because of health problems I was initially reluctant to risk taking this injection,” he told Bernama after getting his Sinovac booster jab at the Melaka Mall offsite vaccination centre (PPV) here today.

Shekar said that after thinking hard over the matter, he decided to go for the booster shot on a walk-in basis.

He said the public should rely on news and information from authoritative sources and not be influenced by allegations on social media regarding adverse events due to the booster shot.

Trader Azman Ab Ghani, 60, also felt that the people should trust the government as the booster jab was meant to protect them and check the spread of Covid-19.

“To me, the ‘booster’ is not a problem but social media were playing up all sorts of stories,” said Azman after getting his jab.

Another recipient, trishaw rider Tay Thien Chai, 58, said the booster shot was necessary not only for personal protection but also to facilitate the renewal of his trishaw licence and entry to many premises.

“I have been in this profession for 38 years, and if I don’t get the booster shot I won’t be able to continue working,” said Tay, from Tengkera here.

Melaka Mall PPV manager AbuZar Ghifari Abd Rahman said anyone who missed or has yet to get their booster shot appointment can turn up at the centre, which is open daily including public holidays from 8.30 am to 5 pm.

He said the PPV can administer up to 2,000 shots daily and has special lanes for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women.

“We offer Pfizer and Sinovac and recipients can choose the vaccine, subject to availability of supply from our vaccine bank.

“We usually give appointments to 1,700 people but normally between 1,400 and 1,500 will turn up. There are plenty of opportunities for getting the booster shot here,” he said. — Bernama