KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — A total of 52,771 individuals across the country have missed their Covid-19 vaccination appointments to date.

According to Utusan Malaysia, Kedah has the most missed dates at 10,827 people, followed by Pahang (10,000), Kelantan (10,000), Perak (9,009), Negri Sembilan (6,323), Melaka (3,612) and Perlis (3,000).

Kedah’s state Health Department director Dr Mohd Fikri Ujang was quoted as saying that some of the excuses given were that the would-be recipients were out of town, unfit to travel, not ready or undergoing quarantine.

“There were also those who asked to change their dates at the last-minute and would not answer our phone calls to confirm their attendance,” he told Utusan Malaysia, adding that in total, around 35 per cent of Kedah’s 30,100 registrants have missed their appointments.

Pahang’s Health Department director Datuk Dr Bahari Awang Ngah said 20 per cent have missed their appointments through the MySejahtera app and National Immunisation Programme (NIP) appointments.

“But we expect this number to decrease after Hari Raya as they may have wanted to wait until after Raya,” he said.

Meanwhile. Kelantan’s state Health Department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said most of the missed appointments have been those aged 60 and above.

“A large number of individuals have also failed to confirm their non-attendance for their vaccine under Phase Two with their respective vaccination centres,” he told Utusan Malaysia.

In Negri Sembilan, 6,323 out of 26,576 individuals missed their appointments between April 19 and May 24.

The state’s Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force chairman Datuk Dr Razali Ab Malik said these include those who were due for their first and second doses.

“Among the excuses are they didn’t check their MySejahtera app or the vaccination centre is faraway and hard for them to get to,” he said.

In Melaka, there were 3,612 missed first jab appointments and 322 second jab appointments from a total of 15,367 individuals as of May 25, according to chairman of the state's Health and Anti-drug Department Datuk Rahmad Mariman.

In Perlis, state Secretary Azman Mohd Yusof said among the excuses given were not wanting the Sinovac vaccine, wanting to take the vaccine as a couple, and having no one to accompany them to the vaccination centre.

According to Utusan Malaysia, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba has expressed his disappointment at the absenteeism rate as the vaccines have a short expiration date.

Once it is taken out of storage, a vaccine must be used immediately. Failure to do so will result in wastage as the vaccine cannot be put back in storage, he added.