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Sunday, May 2, 2021

All AstraZeneca Covid-19 doses snapped up in less than 4 hours

 


All AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses have been snapped up in less than four hours after it was opened for registration.

The registration for the 268,800 AstraZeneca doses started around noon at https://www.vaksincovid.gov.my/.

There were initially technical issues due to a large number of people visiting the site.

This resulted in the system telling users that there were no longer any more appointment slots within minutes the registration was opened.

However, this was quickly fixed and the appointments were fully snapped up by 3.15pm.

"All AstraZeneca slots are fully booked. My apologies for the initial glitch and multiple refreshes," Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

Khairy co-chairs the special committee on Covid-19 vaccine supply which oversees the vaccination effort.

The government had decided to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine on a voluntary basis due to concerns of very rare blood clots, particularly among younger people.

The government initially planned a mandated roll out of the AstraZeneca vaccine for those aged 60 and above.

However, Khairy was worried that this may deter people who do not want the AstraZeneca vaccine from registration for the overall immunisation programme that also includes other vaccines such as Pfizer-Biontech and Sinovac which do not have blood clots issues.

Recipients who register through the normal immunisation programme are not allowed to choose their Covid-19 vaccine.

People who are willing to bear the small risk with AstraZeneca, in exchange, are given fast-tracked access to the Covid-19 vaccine.

The first AstraZeneca dose will be administered as early as next Wednesday (May 5).

The locations for the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine are at World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Universiti Malaya in Petaling Jaya (Dewan 1, Bangunan Peperiksaan) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Dewan Gemilang) in Bangi.

The voluntary sign-up for the current batch of AstraZeneca vaccine was only available for those in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Khairy said the same voluntary sign-up mechanism will be expanding to other states except for Sarawak when more AstraZeneca vaccines arrive.

"We are scheduled to receive a million more doses this month via Covax.

"We will expand the opt-in in other states (except Sarawak which has declined) and ensure those without access to the internet etc can also sign up," he said.

Covax, which stands for Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, is a World Health Organisation effort to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, particularly for the less wealthy countries. - Mkini

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