KUALA LUMPUR: The second round of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine opt-in programme will open this week ahead of the arrival of a million doses this month, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said the vaccine would be made available to the people in and out of the Klang Valley.
‘’We will open the opt-in registration for people in the Klang Valley and other states this time.
‘’People need not worry and we will make the announcement next week (this week), ’’ he said after a visit to the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL) vaccine dispensing centre (PPV) here yesterday.
Registration for the AstraZeneca vaccine opened on May 2 to 268,000 people in the Klang Valley on a first come, first served basis.
All the doses were booked within three hours.
Since May 5, the opt-in programme rolled out to a smooth start as Malaysians turned up for their jabs at four PPVs – WTCKL, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam.
Khairy, who is the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, appealed to those without a vaccination appointment not to turn up at any of the PPV thinking that they could “try their luck”.
‘’Many tend to come towards the end of the day to try their luck but this is causing a crowd and it’s risky, ’’ he said, referring to people who are not registered nor on the waiting list but yet turned up as they hoped to get the jab in place of those who did not show up for their appointment.
He pleaded with those without appointments to not crowd the PPV as it would compromise physical distancing.
Khairy also reminded high-risk individuals who might have been exposed to Covid-19 cases not to turn up. Instead, their vaccination appointments would be rescheduled.
“Those who are close contacts or patients under investigation (PUI) in MySejahtera should not come as they may spread the virus to others.
“They are not supposed to be here but stay home instead. We can reschedule their appointment, just let us know, ” he added.
For those with an appointment, Khairy advised them not to come too early because that, too, would create a crowd.
“Some came two to three hours early to wait. Don’t do that.
“Just come about 15 minutes to 30 minutes earlier to avoid crowding the place. It is because of this that we had to manage the crowding problem at WTCKL, ” he said.
A large crowd began arriving at the WTCKL vaccination centre yesterday morning.
Many were also confused about the right place to queue up.
With over 16,000 people scheduled to get vaccinated at WTCKL over the weekend, many have been arriving earlier than their appointed time, creating a crowd outside of the building.
When asked about elderly couples who registered for the vaccine but were given different dates, Khairy said each PPV was given the discretion to decide whether to also vaccinate the accompanying spouse together based on the vaccine capacity of the day.
“For instance, if a PPV sees that there many absentees on a particular day, it means there are spare vaccines and they can decide to give it to the accompanying spouse. But on a certain day if a PPV is full then they may not do it.
“So we give the PPV some discretion to make a certain decision on the spot. But that doesn’t mean anyone can just walk in at the end of the day, ” he said, adding that consideration is only given to the accompanying spouse.