Since news of the nation's vaccination programme was announced in February this year, our frontliners have been working tirelessly round the clock to ensure that it runs smoothly in Malaysia
After battling some of the worst months of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is now ranked the tenth most vaccinated country in the world — with over 95% of Malaysian adults fully vaccinated.
And we definitely have to thank all our frontliners for their hard work and sacrifice in making this a reality.
In the latest episode of SAYS Long Story Short, we spoke to Mohd Ridhwan, a registered pharmacist and production manager of Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd, the company that conducts the local fill and finish process for the Sinovac vaccine
So, if you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of producing the Sinovac vaccine, watch the full video below:
Tasked with overseeing the entire Sinovac production department since February 2021, Ridhwan and his team overcame countless struggles
Ridhwan: "We were working around the clock. The responsibility that lies on you... it just starts to weigh down on you. To have a continuous production, non-stop for 24 hours, seven days a week. Repeat that week after week."
According to Ridhwan, just one day of having production disrupted was enough to derail the vaccination programme
Ridhwan: "Having that thought of not being able to save the 80,000 lives for the next day, it was really dramatic and a very scary moment for me."
The conversation turned personal when Ridhwan spoke about his family. While he understood his duties to the nation when he took this job, sacrificing time with his wife and young son is still hard. :'(
Ridhwan: "I think over time, my family, they understood the responsibility and they were adapting around my schedule, and so, you know, there will be little things that we manage to still have and enjoy as a family. I really treasure that [starts to choke up]. Sorry… [holds back tears]."
One of the things Ridhwan stressed was the importance of getting the vaccine
Ridhwan: "There's always that last 10% or 20% that you may even contract the virus with the vaccine, but you have an 80% or 70% chance that you won't even be infected at any point of time.
"This again reiterates that point, where the benefit outlies the risks that we have today. If you have contracted the virus, there's also that effectiveness for your body to fight off the COVID-19 virus."
And finally, Ridhwan signed off with an important message to all Malaysians
Ridhwan: "As Malaysians, we have to remain united and we have to remain committed, and we have to have that level of understanding that we are all in this together.
"Just like how we are in Pharmaniaga, we are a group of working individuals that are very committed, very united, and very passionate about improving lives of the nation, and of our communities.
"So, the same message needs to be transcribed onto our public, and onto our nation — that you need to contribute your part. And together I hope that we can definitely overcome this and see better days ahead."
All in all, while the situation in Malaysia continues to show improvement, there are still a number of people who haven't registered for the vaccine yet
So, if you know anyone who hasn't, show them this interview to arm them with more information about getting the vaccine.
For more information about Pharmaniaga Group, head over to their website
The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care.
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