No more opt-ins for AstraZeneca vaccine

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The next supply of AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be implemented voluntarily and instead it will be included in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) mainstream vaccine list.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin at a press conference today, after taking into account the overwhelming and encouraging public response towards the vaccine.

He said this once again proves that there is no longer any doubt in the community about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We have decided that the supply of AstraZeneca vaccine that will be received in the coming months will no longer be implemented on an opt-in basis but will be included in the PICK mainstream vaccine list,” he added.

On that note, Khairy apologised for problems faced by those trying to register for the opt-in AstraZeneca opt-in vaccination on Wednesday (May 26).

He admitted that the user experience for registration could have been executed much better and the system issues would be investigated by the relevant parties.

“I would like to apologise for any issues faced yesterday. I would also like to thank all those who registered or tried to register,” he said.

Khairy also noted that the ministry is looking at ways to allow registrants to choose the kind of vaccine they want via the MySejahtera application.

In the meantime, the minister stressed that there was no segregation based on religion and race involving the vaccination programme.

He added that the country will receive over 25 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in the third quarter of 2021.

With that, he said the vaccination rate is expected to increase to 150,000 injections a day by next month.