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GEORGE TOWN, April 19 — As Penang rolls out the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme today, the number of state residents who have registered for jabs is still below 50 per cent.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said only 44.5 per cent of the Penang population have registered for the vaccination programme.
“The registration rate is still slow and I hope that with the launch of phase two, the percentage of registrations will increase,” he told reporters when visiting one of the vaccination centres, Caring Society Complex, this morning.
He also reminded those who have registered via the MySejahtera app to check their vaccination date.
He said about 30 per cent of those who registered failed to check their app regularly and could have missed their appointment.
“This can affect the immunisation programme so I hope those who have registered will check MySejahtera to take note of the vaccination dates given to them,” he said.
Chow said Penang’s target is to get 1.34 million people vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
As for those who raised questions on whether the state Health Department will send vaccination teams to old folks’ homes and factories to conduct mass vaccinations at those sites, he said this will be looked into.
“Some of these issues will be discussed and a decision will be made as soon as possible,” he said.
There are five vaccination centres in Penang, one in each district.
Chow said initially there were plans for 10 centres, but for now, five have been set up first.
According to state health director Datuk Dr Asmayani Khalib, Penang is one of the first few states to kick off phase two of the immunisation programme which is for senior citizens and the disabled.
She said as of April 17, a total of 622,839 people in Penang have registered for the Covid-19 vaccination.
“Today, a total of 2,024 people will be vaccinated at five different centres,” she said.
About 400 of them will be vaccinated at the Caring Society Complex.
The other vaccination centres are the Balik Pulau Sports Complex, the Multipurpose Hall in Jawi, Dewan Millennium in Kepala Batas and SP Arena Convention Centre.
Dr Asmayani said there was some progress in the registration rate for vaccination but she hoped more will come forward as soon as possible.
One of the senior citizens who turned up to get vaccinated at the Caring Society Complex this morning was 97-year-old Lee Ah Kim.
Lee said he is the first in his family to receive the vaccination.
“My son registered for me and he drove me here this morning,” he said.
When asked if he had any misgivings about the vaccination, he said no.
“I don’t have any existing health conditions, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said.