KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Malaysia is expected to receive another million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine this month after the vaccine’s voluntary application went live earlier today.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin however did not specify the exact date of its scheduled arrival but said the incoming shipment was via Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access or Covax.
“We are scheduled to receive a million more doses this month via Covax. We will expand the opt-in in other states (except Sarawak which has declined) and ensure those without access to internet etc can also sign up,” he said in a Twitter posting.
We are scheduled to receive a million more doses this month via COVAX. We will expand the opt-in in other states (except Sarawak which has declined) and ensure those without access to internet etc can also sign up. https://t.co/lcDHxS3qXr— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) May 2, 2021
Earlier today, the AstraZeneca vaccine application for 268,800 first doses were met with “overwhelming traffic” minutes after registrations opened leading to shared complaints of frustrated efforts by Malaysians to get the vaccine.
As of 2.30pm, Khairy said at least 210,000 bookings for the first dosage have been made with the remaining available designated vaccination centre being the Putra World Trade Centre in KL.
The divergent AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine programme was announced by Khairy last month after concerns emerged that the European-made vaccine can cause dangerous side effects.
Although the World Health Organisation has since assured people that the risk of contracting and dying from the Covid-19 disease is significantly higher than getting dangerous side effects from the vaccine, fears still remain.
Despite this, in accordance with a previous agreement, Malaysia received 268,800 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine on April 24.
The AstraZeneca vaccines are available via separate appointments only, as opposed to the national immunisation programme — which currently does not allow registrants to choose between the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines used in the programme.