JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 27  — Providing the COVID-19 jabs to the homeless will not only prevent the spread of the virus outbreak but also give them hope of finding employment to continue with their livelihoods.

Shem Kutio, 46, said he wanted to return to his hometown in Pitas, Kota Marudu, Sabah and find a job there after getting the vaccine, adding that he decided to take the COVID-19 jab because employers would only hire vaccinated workers.

Shem, who lost his cleaning job in Singapore when the pandemic struck the country two years ago, is living on the street around Dataran Sri Lanang here.

“To find a job, we are advised to take the vaccine first and also to avoid COVID-19 infection. After this, it will be easier for me to go anywhere because I have already taken the vaccine,” he said when met at the vaccination programme for the homeless at Jalan Trus, here today.

Shem was among 50 homeless people who received the single-dose CanSino vaccine today under the programme, which is a collaboration between the Johor State Malaysian Red Crescent Society, the Health Ministry and the Johor Bahru City Council.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Red Crescent Society National Committee for Community Services and Health deputy chairman Datuk Mohd Rashidi Mohd Noor said so far, 150 homeless people aged between 25 and 60 in Johor Bahru had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, administered at several vaccination centres in the city including at Persada, Jubli Intan and Mount Austin since August.

“There are more than 200 homeless people in Johor Bahru and giving them the CanSino vaccine will make it easier for this group without having to come again for a second dose,” he said, adding that this would also facilitate them to get the vaccination certificate.


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