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YOURSAY | Still need to observe 3Cs, 3Ws after AstraZeneca jab

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YOURSAY | ‘I know I must continue to be careful and not be complacent with my SOPs…’

For some, AstraZeneca a ticket out of Covid-19, back to normal

Lone_Star: Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, recently much praised for his role in the provision of the AstraZeneca vaccine to opt-in volunteers, now says that there may be insufficient vaccine for the commencement of Phase 3 (involving individuals above 18 years old and non-citizens) of the National Covid-19 Immunisation programme.

The current batch of AstraZeneca vaccine was initially meant for those in Phase 2 (those aged 60 and above). This is rightly so, as the reports of blood clots after vaccination was lowest among those above 60 years of age.

But for reasons which have been mentioned widely in the media, a U-turn was made; thus, depriving those aged 60 years and above (the target group) from getting the AstraZeneca vaccine on time, especially those not in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur area.

Instead, it appears that the AstraZeneca vaccine has been taken up mainly by the younger ones. This redeployment of the AstraZeneca vaccine to this less vulnerable group will obviously result in the shortage of vaccines for those in Phase 2, the vulnerable ones - those above age 60 years and those with comorbidities.

Will all the AstraZeneca vaccine be used for this opt-in Phase 4 programme? Another 1.1 million doses will be coming in soon and 610,000 doses in June and 410,000 doses in July. If so, this will screw up the original aim of the vaccination programme, which is to get the more vulnerable vaccinated first.

What is it going to take to get the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to get things right? The vulnerable ones should rightly protest.

It must be noted that the interval between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 12 weeks. So, between the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca vaccine, if two individuals are given their first doses, the one getting the Pfizer vaccine (second dose in three weeks) will complete his/her vaccination nine weeks earlier.

It must also be noted that having completed one's Covid-19 vaccination, immunity is not conferred but one is prevented from serious Covid-19 disease, if infected. And if a vaccinated one is infected, there is no certainty that he/she won't infect another. These are the reality of Covid-19 vaccination, presently.

There are many cases reported in the media of those who have completed their vaccination, got infected and succumbed to Covid-19.

So, upon completing the vaccination process, it is still necessary to observe the 3Cs (crowded places; confined spaces; and close conversations) and the 3Ws (wash hands frequently with water and soap; wearing facemasks are strongly encouraged in public areas; and if symptomatic, warn self and others of the Health Ministry advisories).

Cancan: I just received my AstraZeneca dose at Universiti Malaya. What a feeling of relief. I know I must continue to be careful and not be complacent with my SOPs (standard operating procedures), and not take this jab for granted.

Anonymous 79: The Health Ministry should do large-scale tests on new patients to see if there’s a new variant in the community. It should also do a test whether the vaccine we are using now is effective for the new variant. Take Chile for an example. They have the highest vaccination in South America yet their new cases continue to spike.

We can't be like India. The MCO 3.0 is a joke. The virus is already spreading in the community. Even if we lock down everyone at home, it is too late. Plus, the Raya SOPs allow everyone to meet, and students can freely go back home. This will be a disaster.

GreenViper4010: I managed to get an appointment for the Astra Zeneca jab last Sunday after spending about 30 minutes on the website, struggling with its glitches.

My appointment was confirmed on Monday on MySejahtera. I am 70 years old and also have a comorbidity, but that didn't hinder the process. I guess I was lucky.

I had my jab at 8am today (Wednesday) at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. The entire process (waiting, queuing, consultation, vaccination, recovery and discharge) was slick, smooth, efficient and professionally carried out by a patient and polite staff.

It took less than an hour between my arrival to when I left the vaccination centre. I've never seen anything as efficient in all my time in Malaysia, be it the Immigration Department, the Road Transport Department, the Inland Revenue Board or the Registration Office.

I was so shocked/impressed at the efficiency of the operation that I needed a whiskey when I got home to calm me down. Thanks to all the staff - medical, ushers and management - for a job well done. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Hmmmmmmmm: @GreenViper4010, I am very pleased to hear that it went very smoothly.

I was about to comment that based on the photos, the vaccination centre looks crowded and that they should schedule the appointments more tightly - only allow those whose appointments are at the appointed times to go into the centre. Early birds have to wait elsewhere so as not to crowd the place.

Anyway, it's good that the whole process was very fast.

GreenViper4010: Just to clarify... based on my experience yesterday: They do not allow anyone into the "holding pens" (seated waiting area Stations 1 and 2) until the appointed hour. In our case, there were, by my estimation, around 200 people milling around in the PWTC lobby area, outside the seated area.

Then, at the appointed time, only those who have proof (MySejahtera) of the appointment at that hour were allowed to enter the seated area. That's when the process actually starts.

After taking your seat, you don't have to wait long - you are "processed" in small batches (five to 10 people at a time) through a round of form filling, consultation, etc... it feels almost continuous.

Strict SOPs were observed, but there was no crowding or milling about in the actual vaccine areas. In fact, you would find it hard to wander about since you were always guided by one usher or another, it’s difficult to make a mistake or go to the "wrong" place.

I didn't see but I suspect they closed the gate after having let in all the people for a given time slot... I am not sure if this was every hour or two hours.

You can arrive "early" for your time slot, but you will have to wait in the PWTC lobby. That is not a controlled area, and a cynic might say that waiting in the lobby with 100-200 others might constitute a "super spreader" event.

So, the moral of the story is, don't arrive too early before your given time... you will not be able to jump the queue. Stand well away from the milling crowd in the lobby if there is one, and only go to the starting gate around 10 minutes before the appointment time.

At this point, you will have to queue but once they open the gates, it goes very quickly. Good luck to all.


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