The elderly should take the Covid-19 vaccine because they are more susceptible to contracting and dying from the virus.They are also likely to face a longer road to recovery. Geriatrician Dr Ungku Ahmad Ameen (above) thus urged those aged 60 and above to get inoculated to prevent getting the disease. Ungku, who treats elderly Covid-19 patients at the Cheras Rehabilitation Centre, shared that many continue to suffer even after being discharged. “People are usually discharged from Covid-19 wards after 14 days but for elderly patients, after day 14 they are still unwell, still frail and still unable to walk properly. “They did comment that they feel different before and after getting the disease. They are weaker than usual.“So looking at the mortality rate, the effects of the disease and the wellbeing of the elderly; the right thing to do is to prevent them from getting the disease itself,” he said during an online forum entitled “Vaccination plan for residential aged care staff and residents”.Elaborating, Ungku said elderly Covid-19 patients are more prone to late detection, complications and a bumpier recovery period. “(From) managing elderly patients in the hospital, we can see most of them are frail patients. And when they come in, there is a possibility they come late to the hospital.“And then the recovery takes time. For example (those with) complications such as blood clots in the lungs and also damage to the lungs - this group of patients will take a longer time to recover,” he said. Under the government’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, the elderly will be vaccinated in Phase 2 (April to August 2021). Vaccinations are free for all who choose to register for them regardless of citizenship status.As of Feb 19, Malaysia logged 1,043 Covid-19 deaths, of which many are senior citizens. Several clusters have been detected at or linked to old folks’ homes in Kuala Selangor, Kluang, Lembah Pantai, Ipoh, Serdang and Malacca.Today, Ungku shared that Cheras Rehabilitation Centre was treating nine Covid-19 patients who came from aged care facilities. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrHe said the centre has 60 beds and takes in Covid-19 patients aged 70 and above who were either in Category 1 (asymptomatic), Category 2 (mild symptoms) or Category 3 (more serious symptoms).
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