THE public vaccination programme that began about two weeks ago is indeed a timely response on the government’s part to control the covid-19 pandemic and to achieve the desired herd immunity of 80%.
However, one cannot help noticing that the emphasis seems to be on Malaysians having touch-screen smartphones to register themselves via the MySejahtera app.
Though its intention may be to expedite the registration process, such an approach actually excludes those who do not have smartphones, and those who do not know how to use these devices, particularly senior citizens. There are many people from the B40 (lower income) group who do not have these sophisticated mobile digital devices. Moreover, Malaysians with special needs, irrespective of their age, may also not have access to vaccine registration.
We request that the government provide multiple ways of registering for vaccination by opening customer service counters in all public hospitals and health clinics countrywide, and assigning staff to register all those who do not have smartphones, as well as those with special needs who need assistance.
PROF S. VENKATESWARAN
Secretary-general, Building Management Association of Malaysia