KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Vaccine recipients will not be allowed to choose the type of Covid-19 vaccine they want, as it might slow down the government’s inoculation programme and hence, such a policy would not be implemented, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaludin said today.
Khairy, who is the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), made the announcement just three days after his initial announcement that the option was under consideration.
“Well, that was the thinking, but right now, we are focusing on accelerating the vaccination process.
“If we allow options, maybe that will slow things down in a way. So, right now, I have decided that as far as the policy is concerned, we thought about it initially, but now the concern is to increase and ramp up the numbers, so we just give whatever we have,” he said during a press conference at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) here.
On Thursday, Khairy had announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine is now back on the NIP, adding that Malaysians may also get to choose their preferred Covid-19 vaccine soon.
He said that the MySejahtera app was being updated and could include a feature that would allow recipients to indicate their vaccine preference.
He said this was being considered as Malaysia was on track to receive significant shipments of various vaccines in June and July.
Khairy explained that the government was seeking to make the national vaccination drive as frictionless as possible in order to get as many Malaysian residents vaccinated as possible.
“On the choice of vaccines, we are working out the method by which we can do this. It will be done via MySejahtera and the website. I believe this is cleaner and encourages people to use the app.
“We will be looking at how you choose your appointments, place, date as well as vaccine. If anything, we want to make the process as easy as possible for people and I’ll probably announce it in the next couple of weeks,” he added.