KUALA LUMPUR: As the opt-in programme for the AstraZeneca vaccine kicks off on Wednesday (May 5), those who had registered for the jab turned up in droves at the four vaccination centres to receive their jabs against Covid-19.
The AstraZeneca vaccine began to roll out on Wednesday at four vaccination centres – Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur and the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam.
In PWTC, locals and foreigners who had scheduled their appointments there were seen gathering as early as 10am to receive their vaccine shots.
Headhunter EK Cheah, 66, who arrived at 11.15am, praised the authorities for making the vaccination process a smooth one.
“It was very organised. I’m impressed. I came at 11.15am and only waited about an hour plus,” he said.
Cheah advised those who have not signed up for the AstraZeneca vaccine to do so when it was available again.
A foreigner, who only wanted to be known as Peter, said he made an appointment to be vaccinated because he is already feeling the “pandemic fatigue”.
“I am done sitting at home. If I don’t get jabbed now, I might only get a chance at the end of this year or next year.”
Peter, who has lived in Petaling Jaya for decades, also said he was impressed at the process of being vaccinated.
“I came at 10.30am and I barely waited. I have to say I’m quite impressed.”
Meanwhile, Farah Naqiah, who arrived at 10.30am, said she is excited but nervous about being vaccinated.
“I was scared of needles initially. But the service is good and everyone is nice. It was really easy,” she added.
There were initial public concerns after the AstraZeneca vaccine had recently came into scrutiny due to possible risk of rare blood clots forming.
At the same time, 27-year-old executive Hajar Masturah Mohamad Nasir also said she waited about 30 minutes for her turn to be vaccinated when she arrived at 11.30am.
“The process is really smooth. We came and just waited for awhile.”
Masturah urged youngsters to help the elderly who are not so tech-savvy to register under the national immunisation plan.
“If you have access to the Internet, help the old people to register to be vaccinated,” she added.
Over on Twitter, Malaysians are using the #CucukMyAZ hashtag to share their experiences as a guide for the whole vaccination process.
User @yesitshanna shared her inoculation journey with her husband at the Putra World Trade Center.
Arriving as early as 8.30am, she pointed out that “they (PPV officials) will not let you in until your appointment time, even if you are early”.
Another user, @sharmineishak said volunteers were told to double-check their details such as date, time as well as their designated station to ensure a smooth process and were given consent forms that needed to be read and filled, but not signed as it needs to be signed in the presence of a witness.
“After I was cleared, I entered the hall and was put in line for the doctor to review my consent form and scan the QR. This is where you sign the form with the doctor as a witness.”
Over in University Malaya, much to the excitement of @jasonweecw, things got rolled out ahead of time.
Despite having his appointment set at 9.00 am, he said that he was “vaccinated and in observation by 9:09 am!” adding that the post jab waiting time is only 15 minutes for volunteers in the low-risk category.
Twitter user @n4vin echoed the speedy process, despite having his appointment in Bangunan Peperiksaan.
“After the registration, the process is very fast. It only took 10 mins for me to get my jab,” he said.
He, however, added that the observation period was self-managed, where he needs to time himself before getting his MySejahtera status updated, after the 15-minute period.
All of them agreed that the process was overall efficient and the vaccination itself was almost painless with no major side effects so far asides from the initial soreness and numbs around the injected area