GEORGE TOWN: More than 10 students aged 16 and 17 who showed up at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre vaccination centre (PPV) without a MySejahtera appointment were not allowed to get the jab.
Ku Myiet Mooy, 51, brought his 16-year-old daughter to the PPV at around 9am but did not succeed in getting her vaccinated.
“I heard from my friends that 16 and 17-year-olds can now walk in to a PPV to receive their jabs.
“My daughter did not get an appointment through MySejahtera but we decided to come and were told that only those with school authorisation letters are allowed to get the vaccine.
“My daughter will contact her teacher and get her advice,” he said when met at the PPV on Wednesday (Sept 22).
Engineer Teh Boon Keat, 47, said he took a day off from work to bring his son Melvin, 16, to the PPV.
“My family is fully vaccinated except for him.I saw messages circulated online saying that students aged 16 and 17 can walk in to get the vaccine.
“We just only learnt that students have to get a letter from the school before they are allowed to be vaccinated," he said, adding that his son will consult his teacher next.
Setia SPICE Convention Centre PPV manager Dr Norhashimah Ismail said the programme on Wednesday (Sept 22) is only for students who have permanent addresses in Penang but study in boarding schools outside the state.
“We are expecting around 100 students for this category today (Sept 22)," she said.
She added that starting Thursday (Sept 23), vaccination sessions for students aged 16 and 17 who do not have comorbidities will be held from 9am to noon for 10 schools in Penang as a pilot test.
“On the island, we are expecting around 1,000 students who will be notified through MySejahtera," she said.
There are about 40,000 students aged 16 and 17 in the state.
“We do not allow walk-ins yet for students,” said Dr Norhashimah.
The Penang Chief Minister had said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 21) that the state will kick off its Covid-19 immunisation programme for adolescents starting with students aged 16 and 17 who have permanent addresses in Penang but study in boarding schools outside the state.
The students, he said, will be notified of their appointments through MySejahtera and should be accompanied by their parents or guardians for their appointments.
Students are advised to bring the necessary documents, especially the Covid-19 vaccination consent form, to ensure that the vaccination process goes smoothly.
On Thursday (Sept 23), vaccination sessions (9am to noon) for students aged 16 and 17 who do not have comorbidities will be held at six PPV.
They are the Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Tapak Ekspo Seberang Jaya, Vangohh Eminent Hotel, Dewan Perda Convention Centre, Dewan Millenium and Sungai Bakap Multi-Purpose Hall.
On Sept 11, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there were about 130,000 teenagers in Penang who had been identified as eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.