AstraZeneca vaccine registration injects fury

They had to face an inefficient booking system where certain buttons could not be clicked

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by AFP

MALAYSIA’S Internet saw tremendous traffic yesterday with thousands from the Klang Valley, Penang, Sarawak and Johor trying to get their hands on a slot for the AstraZeneca opt-in vaccination.

People below the age of 60 prepared to grab a slot in the third round at 12pm, later moved to 12.15pm, yesterday after booking for the second round for those above 60 closed at 10am.

However, they had to face an inefficient booking system where certain buttons could not be clicked like the state of residence, dates of choice, as well as repeatedly having to convince the website that they were not robots.

On his Facebook page, Ticket2U Sdn Bhd founder YC Chia said the dates could not be loaded because the website’s API was simply blocked down by its Cloudflare, which was claimed was run using a free or low-cost version.

“Users were told that the date is fully booked, but it was because the API was blocked.

“That is our standard; the Malaysian government (that is) representing our tech level,” said the IT expert.

“I wasted more than one hour just to register for the vaccine. I would rather play two hours of League of Legends,” he added.

Zati Jamil, 24, was one of the lucky few who had successfully booked her AstraZeneca vaccine slot, but she too had to go through a very hectic process.

“I could not select my state and venue. I used Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla.

“After a few refreshes, I managed to get through,” she told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.

Zati secured a slot on June 28, but felt like she had to rush through the process without much deliberation because she wanted the spot badly.

Despite her successful booking, Zeti was still ill at ease as she will have to wait 48 hours for the vaccine appointment to be updated in her MySejahtera system and any glitch is possible in the meantime.

“The least they can do is send a confirmation text or email regarding the booking. Now, I am going to be anxious until I get the confirmation.”

She selected the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur as her venue of inoculation and hoped that the system would confirm her booking accordingly.

Meanwhile, a 33-year-old Malaysian, who only wanted to be known as Nur, tried to book for her sister but was not as lucky.

“I wasted almost two hours waiting and trying to register. It was so frustrating. We used a desktop, a laptop, an iPad and two handphones, but we still could not get through.

“This is the third time that they opened this opt-in registration, but it was even worse than the first two times,” she said.

A 26-year-old game development graduate from KDU University College who wished to remain anonymous joked that the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee’s website should be handled by game developers.

“Just hire game developers to run your servers. We know how to keep a stable multiplayer server better than you can!”

MUDA secretary general Amir Abd Hadi said Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar must address the people’s grouses about the AstraZeneca vaccine registration website.

“After several times, this website had failed to make it convenient to register for the vaccine. People have begun to question the use of a free ‘cloudflare’.

“Malaysians are sceptical on how the RM70 million budget was allocated to develop the system and vaccines.

“Khairy must reveal who got the contract to develop this website. The people have the right to know,” said Amir in a statement.

After only 90 minutes, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine registration was closed with over 300,000 slots snapped up.

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