MOH considers giving frequent blood donors early access to COVID-19 vaccine

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health is considering a proposal to allow frequent blood donors early access to the COVID-19 vaccine. He said this during a visit to the National Blood Centre yesterday.

The move is seen as an encouragement and incentive to drive the public to donate blood. It is proposed that individuals that have donated blood more than 50 times will be given priority access in Phase 2 under the national COVID-19 immunisation program which will begin from 19th April 2021 in 8 states. The proposal will be submitted to the special committee for ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccine supply.

According to the Minister, a total of 652,671 blood bags were collected throughout Malaysia in 2020 and it’s a 12.3% percent drop from 2019 due to the pandemic. He also shared that the blood stock supply throughout the country is still sufficient.

He also reminded that the National Blood Centre remains open during Ramadan and it will continue to operate until night to allow blood donors especially Muslims to donate after breaking fast.

Eligible vaccine recipients under Phase 2 have started to receiving appointment notification via MySejahtera. The notifications will be pushed at least two weeks ahead of the appointment date and you’ll have 48 hours to accept the appointment. The appointment will be rescheduled for those who didn’t respond to the notification. After accepting, there will be phone and SMS reminder sent 3 days ahead of schedule.

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Phase 2 which covers senior citizens, people with chronic diseases and people with disability is currently scheduled from 19th April until August 2021. Eligible users will be notified in stages. Phase 3 which covers all remaining adults will begin from May 2021 until February 2022.

Do ensure that your MySejahtera app is enabled for notification. This can be checked by going into your phone’s Settings > Notification > MySejahtera. Ensure that notifications and alerts are enabled so that you won’t miss out.

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Alexander Wong