Gone in 3 hours: AstraZeneca vaccine bookings

PUTRAJAYA, 2 May 2021:

Despite seemingly widespread concerns over the small risk of blood clots upon receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, appointments to received the 268,800 doses already in Malaysia were booked up in just three hours and 20 minutes.

This astonishing rush since booking slots were opened at noon today was revealed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin via Twitter.

The separate voluntary bookings for the AstraZeneca vaccine was decided by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) last week after several public concerns expressed over the blood clot risk – causing this vaccine to be yanked from the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, even though it was originally meant for those aged 60 and older.

With the separate AstraZeneca vaccination rollout, Khairy had previously said: “These voluntary applicants are the ones who are aware of all the facts surrounding the vaccine and will undergo a health assessment before receiving their dose.”

This booking rush – which allows individuals to ‘jump queue’ to get vaccinated when compared to the long wait to receive the Pfizer-Moderna and SinoVac doses – lends further credence to the government’s decision to procure more of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Khairy said Malaysia is scheduled to receive another million more doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this month via the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (CoVax) programme.

While the initial batch of bookings were restricted to Kuala Lumpur and Selangor – due to the high number of infections in these states, he said: “We will expand the opt-in in other states, except Sarawak, which has declined.”