ALOR GAJAH: With the country battling the COVID-19 pandemic, retired nurse Hee Kim Lan, 57, decided to offer her services as a volunteer in the National COVID-19 Immunisation programme (PICK).

The former matron at the Melaka Hospital, who retired in January, said she had to forget the desire to spend time with her family for now after seeing the current critical situation in the country and the rising daily numbers of COVID-19 cases apart from experiencing a manpower shortage.

Hee, whose nursing career spanned 31 years at several hospitals including Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, said she was offered to serve as a vaccinator in the PICK programme and readily accepted it.

"After retiring, I had really wanted to spend time with my family. My husband was initially reluctant for me to join as a volunteer but after giving him a better scenario of the current difficult situation, he relented and agreed to allow me to participate in this vaccination programme.

"With the trust and responsibility that we shoulder, together with the spirit of teamwork, this vaccination programme to ensure herd immunity can be achieved," she said when met by reporters at the Community Vaccine Mobilisation (MOVAK) programme at Kompleks Jawatankuasa Penyelarasan dan Pembangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri (JAPERUN) Machap Jaya, here, today.

Hee said that as a vaccinator, she has come across various types of recipients in the MOVAK programme.

One incident she cannot forget is when a recipient had to be held down by many staff members and calmed in order to have the vaccine shot administered safely.

Hee also said that to address public concern over the issue of "empty syringes", which is hot topic at the moment, she always shows the syringe that contains the vaccine several times to the recipients before giving them their shots.

"I would show the needle and what quantity of the vaccine was to be used, and after the injection is completed, it (the syringe) would be shown again to the recipient.

"In that way, the individual receiving the vaccine is reassured and will not be worried about the issue of empty syringes and so on," she added.