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The government will most likely reconsider the registration policy if the sign-up rate for Covid-19 vaccination is not satisfactory by July, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Khairy (photo, above) said the assessment would be done in July as currently, the level of demand is more than supply.
“The supply schedule is still gradual right now. The delivery (of vaccines) is set to increase tremendously in July.
“If we see supply overtake demand, and that will start around July and August when we have millions of doses coming in monthly, then we will consider some further options to increase the registration,” he said at a press conference.
Khairy was speaking at a joint press conference with the Health Minister Dr Adham Baba on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which was held in Putrajaya and broadcast online via video conferencing.
The minister was responding to a question on whether the government will change its voluntary vaccine registration policy to compulsory vaccination for certain high-risk groups if the rate of registration does not keep up with the government’s target for herd immunity.
Khairy said there is also a perception that the country’s vaccination rate is slow.
“But our vaccination rate is based on the delivery schedule given by the vaccine suppliers.
“In July, there will be an increase of doses from Pfizer,” he said.
Appointment notifications to be sent in advance
Khairy reiterated that Phase 2 of the vaccination programme would start on April 19. The appointment dates for Phase 2 recipients will be sent out starting today via the MySejahtera app.
Phase 2 will focus on vaccinating senior citizens above age 60, individuals with comorbidities and individuals with disabilities.
Khairy said notifications would be sent to the individuals who qualify at least 14 days before the appointment.
There will also be a reminder sent to the individuals three days before the appointment date as well as one day before the appointment date through text messages and calls from a call centre, he said.
Khairy also explained that they would receive an option whether to attend or not when the appointment date is given to them.
This is to ensure that people do not miss their vaccine appointments, as that would lead to the vaccine doses being wasted.
“If they answer that they will attend, then I hope they will really attend.
“Otherwise, the vaccine will be wasted because when the vaccine has been removed from cold storage, it cannot be put back,” he said.
In order to ensure people will attend their vaccination appointments, Khairy said he is also going to meet with the Human Resources Ministry so that employers cannot bar their employees from going for their vaccination appointments.
The decision will be announced later, he said, but it will either be advisory or compulsory for employers to give a day off to their employees to attend their vaccination appointments.