No more opt-ins: AstraZeneca vaccine back in national immunisation programme

PETALING JAYA: Khairy Jamaluddin says the AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be offered as an opt-in choice and will now be used as part of the national immunisation programme.

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister said the opt-in programme was created because there was initial hesitancy towards the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a blood clot issue, but response to opt-in for the vaccine has been very good.

"The hesitancy is no longer there and AstraZeneca has been accepted. We have made the decision that AstraZeneca will no longer be opt-in, but now will be a vaccine added to the programme," he said.

Khairy also said they were looking at allowing the public to choose the vaccine they want, as well as the venue and date to get it.

He also apologised for problems faced by those trying to register for the opt-in AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination on Wednesday (May 26).

"I would like to apologise for any issues faced. I would like to thank all those who registered or tried to register," he said, adding that more vaccines would be brought in soon.

He acknowledged that the user experience for registration could have been better.

"The system could have been much better executed," he said in a virtual press conference on Thursday (May 27), adding that system issues would be investigated.

He also said that Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba had signed an agreement to get an additional 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

"This means that in Q3, we will receive 25,682,670 doses of vaccine," he said.

Khairy said for June, a total of 2,223,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be received, with 444,600 doses every week for five weeks.

He said this would make it a total of 4,974,840 doses of the Pfizer vaccine received by the end of June.

“We are hoping to achieve 150,000 jabs a day in June,” he added.

As for those waiting for appointments for the Astra Zeneca vaccination, he said they were pushing 1.4 million appointments since the registration closed.

“It will take some time. Please be patient. If you manage to successfully register, you will get your appointment,” he said.

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