Khairy: AstraZeneca vaccine not on 'opt in' basis anymore

Khairy: AstraZeneca vaccine not on 'opt in' basis anymore
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): Due to the overwhelming response of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the next batch of the vaccine will no longer be available on a voluntary opt-in basis.

At a virtual media briefing today, the Coordinating Minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin said the great response showed that there was no longer any hesitancy among the community for the vaccine.

As such, he added that the AstraZeneca vaccine — that is part of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme together with the Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines — will no longer have the opt-in exercise like it did in the previous two rounds.

“We have made the decision that Astrazeneca will no longer be opt-in, but now [the vaccine] will be added to the programme,” said Khairy.

Meanwhile, Khairy apologised for problems faced by applicants trying to register for the second batch opt-in Astrazeneca vaccination on the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) website yesterday.

He said that the user experience for registration “could have been better”, adding that system issues would be investigated.

The second round of opt-ins for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination was opened yesterday to those over 18 years old living in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor and Sarawak.

The Minister also said there will also be several options for the public to choose the vaccine they want as well as the venue and date to get it.

“On the choice of vaccines, we are still working out the method on how we will do this, it will be done through MySejahtera,” he said, adding that the process in the app is easier compared to the website.

“We are working on a few options right now, and will probably announce that in the next couple of weeks,” added Khairy.

In addition, Khairy said nearly 16 million more Covid-19 vaccine doses will be received by July.

These include 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, 12 million doses of Sinovac vaccine and 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We are hoping to achieve 150,000 jabs a day in June,” he added.

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Kathy Fong