PETALING JAYA: Despite some initial glitches, all 268,000 AstraZeneca vaccination slots for residents of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were snapped up in three hours and 20 minutes today.
“All the AstraZeneca slots are fully booked. My apologies for the initial glitch and multiple refreshes,” Khairy Jamaluddin, who is the minister coordinating the Covid-19 immunisation programme, said in a tweet.
“You can still click on the grey boxes to put yourself on a waitlist for the next couple of hours. We will start pushing appointments to your MySejahtera or via SMS soon.”
Khairy added that a million more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected this month via the Covax facility, and the ministry will expand the registration to other states, except Sarawak which has declined to be included.
Commenting on the response to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the prime minister’s special adviser on public health Dr Jemilah Mahmood said on Twitter that it was “really encouraging” to see how fast the slots were filled up.
Meanwhile, former deputy health director-general Dr Christopher Lee said that despite vaccine hesitancy, which he said exists in any community, the AstraZeneca opt-in programme showed that there is “good acceptance” of Covid-19 vaccination in the country.
“While we should still engage those who are uncertain, we must not lose focus on acquiring enough vaccines and just getting shots in arms ASAP,” said the infectious disease consultant on Twitter.
The decision to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine on a voluntary basis was taken following concerns that it may cause blood clots in a very low number of cases.
Yesterday, Khairy said the AstraZeneca opt-in would be open on a “first click, first-served” basis and would be made available from Wednesday onwards at four designated vaccination centres — Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur, and IDCC Shah Alam.
While Khairy said registration would be open from noon today, users on social media platforms such as Twitter claimed that the registration website (http://vaksincovid.gov.my) had opened earlier than scheduled.
Khairy later explained that all bookings received before noon were not recorded and were only for testing purposes, with netizens stating this could lead to confusion among those who thought they had successfully registered for the jabs.