ALOR SETAR – Children have to provide a positive environment and as much information as possible on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine to get parents to register for the vaccine injection.
Dean of the School of Applied Psychology, Policy and Social Work, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Associate Professor Dr Abdul Razak Abd Manaf said parents should be informed the benefits of the vaccine to convince them to go for the vaccination.
He said children could have a slow talk on the matter with their parents on the importance of the vaccination without making the latter to feel they are forced to do so.
“Tell the parents about other parents who had received the vaccination, how healthy they (other parents’ are, as testimony for them to also get it (vaccine).
“Tell them that about their friends who are not as healthy or fit like them, have received the vaccination and were glad they did,” he told Bernama.
Abdul Razak said stories on moments experienced by other parents before, during and after being given the vaccination could help to change their parents’ mind.
Children can also use the psychological approach by informing parents of the consequences if they are not vaccinated, like not being able to go for inter-district or inter-state travel, hence they will not be able to meet their relatives and see the grandchildren,” he added.
He said people from outside the family, like the family doctor, could also help to talk parents into accepting the vaccination.
Meanwhile, Noor Asmin Mohd Khassim, 43, from Jitra, who managed to coax her mother, Rahmah Ahmad, 79, to register for the vaccination, and she had now completed both the doses last May, said she shared information on the benefits of the vaccine, which she gathered from reliable sources, with her mother.
“Initially, my mother was adamant about not taking the vaccination because of the negative information about the vaccine she had been reading on her phone. When she relented, I registered her name and now she had completed both doses and is healthy.
“It was only after my mother had completed both doses that I registered my father’s name for the vaccine, and he, too, completed the vaccination, with the second dose last June 22.
“Unlike my mother, my father is all for the vaccine,” she added.
Noor Asmin said children play an important role in influencing their parents’ decision and to make her mother changed her mind, she did her own reading to gather facts on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination to counter the false information that her mother had been getting.
Mohd Zulhelmi Mohd Sayutti, 33, from Guar Chempedak, near Yan, said his mother, Salmiah Shaari, 56, initially refused to get the vaccine because of the negative stories.
“However, she changed her mind and asked me to register her name for the vaccination last June 25 and she got her first dose two days ago,” he said.
Mohd Zulhelmi said he believed that what finally changed his mother’s mind about getting the vaccine was after listening to the positive stories about it, especially from her siblings, nieces and nephews, who received the vaccine jab earlier.