Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin have issued a joint statement to provide clarity on the next steps to solve the AstraZeneca vaccine registration issue. A few days ago, the COVID-19 immunisation task force (CITF) had accused Selangkah via Imunisel of booking individuals for AstraZeneca without their consent. This was a claim which Selangkah had initially denied.
According to the statement, the Selangor state government had taken the initiative to register people for the AstraZeneca vaccine under its Imunisel outreach program. The CITF appreciates the effort by the state government as well as other parties in registering more people offline in the state to get the vaccine.
Unlike the mainstream immunisation program, AstraZeneca is offered as an opt-in registration. It should be booked by volunteers who understand and have given their consent to get the UK-developed vaccine. Imunisel acknowledges that separate consent must be given before AstraZeneca registrations can be done.
The joint statement also said some individuals were registered for AstraZeneca by Imunisel and it was done without the individual’s knowledge. As a result, some of their existing appointments for Pfizer or Sinovac were replaced with AstraZeneca appointments.
To solve the issue, Imunisel has agreed to handover its list of individuals registered in the past few days so that they can be contacted by CITF to obtain their consent. Individuals that don’t agree to take AstraZeneca will be assigned their original vaccine appointments.
Besides Selangkah, the CITF also said that there are other individuals that may have been booked for AstraZeneca by third parties including family members or employers. Bookings for the vaccine don’t require verification and it can be done by anyone as long as they have the IC or passport number and their registered mobile phone number. MySejahtera will soon be updated with a new feature to allow individuals to provide feedback if there is a sudden change to their vaccine appointment so that it can be addressed quickly.
Besides the AstraZeneca phantom booking issue, several individuals under the mainstream immunisation program had complained about getting vaccine appointments located far away from their original address. A man residing in Johor was given an appointment in Lahad Datu in Sabah while another in Sarawak was given an appointment in Selangor. There were also similar complaints within Peninsular Malaysia where some were assigned to receive their jab in a different state.
As shared by Khairy yesterday, he has decided not to allow people to choose their vaccine as it may slow down the immunisation program. Malaysia aims to vaccinate 150,000 people per day starting in June with the arrival of more vaccines.
To ramp up vaccinations, more mega vaccination centres will be opened in several states including Selangor. The government is also planning to open drive-through COVID-19 vaccinations in selected states following a successful pilot at USM.
Khairy and Amirudin also said there is no system manipulation by Selangkah as claimed by certain parties. At the moment, Selangor has the most completed vaccinations with 139,317 individuals who have received two doses as of 29th May 11:59pm.
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