It cannot be denied that we are all tired of the pandemic and want it to be over. Hence people’s insistence on being vaccinated. As such, it is not surprising that not being vaccinated can interrupt daily lives.
A student from a local university caused a stir when she reported her university had barred her from her exams as she had not been vaccinated. However, the university explained that there was more to the story than that.
Nik Farah Ellisha Mohd Razif (22) is a medical student studying in University Malaya (UM). Earlier this year, Nik Farah had informed the university that she did not want to get the vaccine. “It is my right to say no to the vaccine,” she stated. However, the university insisted she get vaccinated, especially if she wanted to sit for her exams. The student finally agreed to getting a vaccine of her own choice. “I informed the university about my decision in April,” she said. “I was told the university would tell me my appointment date for the vaccination.”
To the student’s frustration, she has yet to receive an appointment date by the time of her exam on 9th June. “As of the examination date on 8th and 9th June, I could not get an appointment date for the vaccination,” Nik Farah explained. “The university barred me from sitting for the important examination and asked me to leave the hall.” Although she asked to take exam separately, Farah said that her request was rejected. She then lodged a police report at the Brickfields Police Headquarters (IPD) yesterday (14th June).
The Chief Activist from the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), Datuk Nadzim Johan accompanied her to lodge the report. He urged the police to investigate the matter thoroughly, saying that the university should not force its students. “(She) is a medical student and she understands the pros and cons of the vaccine,” he said, referring to Nik Farah. “Thus, when she rejected the vaccine, she understood her risks.” Nadzim sounded disappointed with the university’s actions. He suggested they educate and explain the situation amicably to their students instead. “She has a future,” he stated. “And she can contribute to the country in the future.”
Her story went viral on social media, eliciting different reactions from netizens. It also garnered a response from UM explaining their actions. “It is our responsibility to ensure the campus is conducive and safe for all as we face this pandemic,” they said. It was revealed that the medical exam Nik Farah was sitting for involved patients. Hence their insistence that the students be vaccinated before taking the exam.
The issue caught medical officer Dr Amirul Amzar’s attention. He weighed in on the matter, speaking as an ex-medical student. He confirmed that medical exams usually involved patients. “When we choose to reject the vaccine, we risk those patients involved in the exam being infected by us,” he explained. “We should remember that we could also be asymptomatic patients.” Dr Amirul added that as medical students, they already had a high risk of infection as they often go to clinics and hospital wards. He agreed with the university’s actions as they were only trying to protect people.
Although it is important that everyone gets vaccinated to achieve herd immunity soon, the government has made it clear it is not compulsory to be vaccinated. As such, being vaccinated is still a choice for many to make.
While choosing whether or not to take the vaccine is your right, we hope you have already considered how your choice will affect those around you.
Watch Nik Farah explain her side of the story here: