Fingers at the ready: Malaysians gear up for AstraZeneca signup 'lottery'

FILE PHOTO: Vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at a vaccination centre in Bierset, Belgium March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PETALING JAYA: Some Malaysians are ensuring they are well-prepared ahead of the Covid-19 AztraZeneca vaccine registration on Sunday (May 2) and have set up contingency plans in the event of server glitches, lags, or website crashes due to a predicted rush of signups.

Among the preparations include setting up "back-up" gadgets and ensuring a fast Internet connection.

"I've set three alarms to make sure that I'm online in time for the registration," said 33-year-old Kelly Ong.

She said she had read up on the AstraZeneca vaccine and was confident and mentally ready to receive the vaccine – or any vaccine given to her, for that matter.

"I just want to get jabbed and have it done with. Cucuk, habis," she said.

Ong has made preparations in case of any connection problems.

"We've got two laptops and one phone prepared for tomorrow. It's like buying the lottery," she said.

"I will try my luck to register for AstraZeneca," said 30-year-old Muthu Kumar.

Muthu will be preparing to register for the vaccine like "how you buy concert tickets" – by getting ready 15 mins before noon and using multiple devices and tabs to ensure that he will be able to register in case of any lag or server crash.

"I read up on the AstraZeneca vaccine. There is a very small risk of side effects but I am young and I think my body can handle it.

"I am in the high morbidity group and with rising Covid-19 numbers and people not treating SOPs seriously, it is better to get vaccinated as soon as possible," he said.

Azielia Anne, 28, admitted experiencing some hesitation at first after reading about the issues with AstraZeneca but after discussing with friends, her worries were alleviated as everyone agreed that the danger of not getting vaccinated was much higher.

She will be registering for the AstraZeneca vaccine with her siblings and also plans to sign her parents up.

Azielia advised her family members to get their laptops ready before the noon registration.

"It's going to be like university course registration all over again, chasing after limited spots. I'm not sure if I can secure a vaccination slot, but I might as well take my chance!" she said.

"Initially, my parents were hesitant after reading the news about AstraZeneca but we realised that this is a window of opportunity to get vaccinated early rather than waiting for some months.

"Hopefully my parents will be more encouraged to take the vaccine once they see me and my siblings signing up," she said.

On Wednesday (April 28), the government announced that it will offer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on a "first come, first serve" voluntary basis to the public in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor following public concerns on the vaccine.

All 268,800 AstraZeneca vaccine doses received by the government would not be used in the mainstream National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme but given through dedicated vaccination centres (PPV) in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Concerns surrounding AstraZeneca came about after several cases of blood clotting emerged among receivers of the vaccine.

However, the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin assured the public that the AstraZeneca vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective, and that the number of incidents is very rare, with only four cases out of one million people globally.

Those in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor who wish to volunteer for the Astrazeneca vaccine can log into at noon on Sunday.

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Covid-19 , Coronavirus , Vaccine , AstraZeneca


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