THE government has rolled out its Covid-19 vaccination drive for elderly people across the country, one of the groups deemed vulnerable to the coronavirus.
However, the process has been marred by long queues due to confusion and technical limitations of the online registration system.
On Feb 15, the Health Ministry announced that health authorities would roll out a vaccination drive for people aged 60 and above.
For the first phase of the drive, they would focus on inoculating the elderly in provincial capitals. On Feb 19, authorities distributed the link to online registration for the programme via WhatsApp.
But shortly after, the ministry said the links were void and the official ones would be made available on the national Covid-19 task force’s website.
The ministry added that it would still process registrations done through the previous link.
The new link redirects registrants to the same Google Forms accessed through the previous link.
The provincial health agency is assigned to process the data as well as provide an appointment and a vaccination centre for registrants.
A 37-year-old lawyer in Jakarta registered her 72-year-old mother on Friday through the links provided by the task force, but did not receive automated feedback from the online registration system.
After days of not hearing back from the system, she decided to take her mother to the hospital for the jab on Tuesday.
At the hospital, she met other elderly people waiting to be vaccinated. But they were told that the hospital had used up all 200 doses disbursed from the central government.
Jakarta Health Agency spokesperson Irma Yunita said on Wednesday recipients should register online first and wait to be notified by the healthcare facility before going to receive the jab at their allotted time.
She urged against registering manually, adding: “It will create crowds and long queues.”
But senior citizens still ended up waiting for hours at vaccination centres despite having registered online and arrived at the designated time. — The Jakarta Post/ANN