Skudai rep claims some AZ vaccine recipients getting second appointments faster than recommended

JOHOR BARU: Some recipients of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine here had been given appointments for their second doses three weeks after the first, claims Skudai assemblyman Tan Hong Pin.

He said he had received numerous complaints and queries from the public regarding the appointment for their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was scheduled only 21 days after their first dose.

“This is clearly against the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. Therefore I urge the government to rectify the problem to allay public concerns, ” he said in a Facebook post Tuesday (June 15).

He alleged that one query came from a 69-year-old retired civil servant from Batu Pahat who had received his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine on June 7 at the mega vaccination centre in Persada International Convention Centre here.

Tan claimed that when the retiree logged on to the vaccination page on the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) portal, he found out that his second dose appointment had been fixed for June 28, which is 21 days after his first dose.

The former Johor DAP secretary alleged that the appointment page on the retiree’s MySejahtera app, however, did not show any date for the second dose.

He claimed that a number of the complaints he received were from those who had received their first jab at Persada, which is one of the eight venues involved in the second round of the AstraZeneca vaccination programme.

“I believe these are not isolated cases. There could be a bug causing issues with the centralised Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) vaccine appointment system, ” he added.

Tan said the worldwide dose interval requirement for AstraZeneca vaccine has been set at a minimum of four weeks.

He added that National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin had announced on May 4 that the interval would be 12 weeks after the first AstraZeneca jab for Malaysia.

“I have also checked the published guidelines by regulators in Australia and the United Kingdom as well as our own National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

"All required the dose interval to be a minimum four weeks.

“Therefore when people found out from their own vaccination page on the JKJAV portal that the second dose is to be taken in 21 days, they felt confused and concerned, ” he said.

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