KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — A Covid-19 vaccination registration deadline may cause many people to miss out on getting vaccinated, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Covid-19 Vaccination Committee said today.
The PH vaccine committee today in a statement said if a deadline is set and many people are left out, then herd immunity will not be achieved.
“In order for us to achieve the intended 70 to 80 per cent target to reach herd immunity, we need to make sure all those that are eligible to be vaccinated are not left behind,” the PH Covid-19 vaccine committee said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly told a town hall in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, that the government might consider a deadline for Covid-19 vaccination registration, most likely in June.
Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran also urged the government to retract the June deadline as it will be unfair to rural residents who don’t have access to the internet.
Instead of punitive strategies, PH suggested the government to come up with more educational strategies to address some legitimate concerns that the public may have on the vaccine.
The Opposition MPs also said that setting a deadline is unfair for those who are not aware of the Covid-19 registration process, like the elderly and those living in rural areas.
“The government should come up with a comprehensive policy to incentivise more registrations and promote the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine in order to allay some of the concerns that the public may have, rather than setting a deadline for Covid-19 registration which may risk some of the people missing out on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP).”
Besides that, the PH vaccine committee also said that some people are not signing up on MySejahtera to join the public inoculation drive because they are waiting for a private Covid-19 vaccination programme so that they can get their choice of vaccine.
“The government should also come up with a clear policy decision whether the private sectors are allowed to procure for themselves directly from the manufacturers and start rolling out a parallel vaccination programme,” the PH vaccine committee said.
Hence, they asked the government to come up with a clear directive and timeline so that the public can make an informed decision.
The PH vaccine committee also said that the registration process must be ongoing parallel with the vaccine rollout to help boost confidence, especially for those who have seen others going through the process smoothly.
“In the meantime, strategic communications must be intensified in all platforms including creative videos, public service announcements (PSAs), influencers, and celebrities to promote the importance of the vaccine,” the PH Covid-19 vaccine committee said.
“Materials in all languages and dialects be produced in order to reach out to all communities especially the rural areas to make sure no communities are left behind and all their concerns are addressed.”