KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Individuals, civil society, and companies have launched informal Covid-19 vaccination registration drives to boost flagging sign-ups that number at less than a third of the adult population.
An anonymous medical practitioner based in north Malaysia told CodeBlue that the first thing he asks his patients when they come to his clinic is: “Have you registered for the Covid-19 vaccine?”
If they have not registered, he will assist them in registering. “In the last two weeks, I have registered nothing less than 125 people,” the doctor said, declining to be named as he works in the public sector.
The doctor highlighted reasons why some people have yet to register for Covid-19 jabs. First, many of them think that the federal government’s MySejahtera application is only used for checking into premises.
“They don’t even know you can close the scanning (feature) and go for other features, such as checking daily Covid-19 cases,” the doctor told CodeBlue.
The second reason is that many people don’t have a smartphone and usually rely on pen and paper to check in at a public place. The doctor shared that some senior doctors themselves don’t know how to register on MySejahtera for vaccination.
“I had to show them, ‘you click here one by one’.”
The medical practitioner said that some people are also clueless about needing to update their MySejahtera application in order to register for Covid-19 inoculation. On the other hand, some are aware that the app needs updating, but don’t know how to go about it.
Hence, the doctor pointed out that the younger generation, who is more IT savvy, should step up and help the elderly register for the coronavirus shot.
“What we need is we need Malaysians to step up. If you are in your taman, or you are a young boy or a young girl, you go back and see your elderly parents, help them register,” the doctor said.
The doctor also suggested convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Speedmart, as well as petrol stations to help people register for the Covid-19 vaccine, as these are places that serve the community. Besides that, he highlighted that the human resource departments in companies can also help register staff for the Covid-19 shot, as companies usually have details of employees, including their health status.
Moreover, the doctor suggested for cybercafes to have a vaccine registration day, saying: “Cybercafes have so many computers there all they need to do is just put up a big banner from this date to this date we are having registration.”
Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday officiated the launch of the collaboration of several companies with the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) — Pos Malaysia, e-hailing company Grab, retailer Parkson, first-aid responder St John Ambulance of Malaysia, and sports marketing agency Living Minds — to boost registration for Covid-19 vaccination.
UNHCR Provides Vaccine Information In 11 Different Languages For Refugees
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in its efforts to provide vaccine information to refugees in Malaysia, created content in the form of posters and audio files in 11 different languages that are commonly spoken by refugees.
UNHCR associate public health officer Dr Susheela Balasundaram said that UNHCR is ready to continue providing support to the government in its Covid-19 response, including the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
“At this early stage, UNHCR, as part of the One UN (United Nations) team being led by UN Resident Coordinator, has been actively participating in planning meetings on the implementation of the immunisation programme led by the government, especially where it affects refugees and asylum-seekers,” Dr Susheela told CodeBlue.
“As part of the planning process, UNHCR has also shared refugee population data as far as the district level, and provided technical input to the planning where required.”
Khairy has announced that all those residing in Malaysia will get free access to Covid-19 vaccines. This includes undocumented immigrants and refugees who may be receiving a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine.
Since March 2020, UNHCR has taken several measures to help refugees during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have also set up an online portal where all refugees, asylum-seekers, and organisations supporting refugees can get information on where to find help and services.
myBurgerLab Discounts For Vaccine Registration
Well-known burger outlet in Malaysia, myBurgerLab, offered a 15 per cent discount for all those who registered for the Covid-19 vaccine between last February 25 to 28.
myBurgerLab co-founder Chin Ren Yi told CodeBlue that as a brand, they always felt it was their responsibility to create awareness on the vaccine as well as Covid-19 in general.
“When it rolled out, we knew we had the responsibility to encourage others to register and you know, Malaysians being Malaysians they know their discounts right, so we thought why not throw a discount alongside of it in a form of reward,” Chin said.
Chin said that about 400 to 500 customers redeemed the discount from their food and beverage (F&B) outlet. Meanwhile, in terms of marketing, their social media post on the discount had a substantial amount of shares and reach.
“I think for our community, we have tapped out as much as we can. I think in terms of reach, we have reached 100,000 based on our Facebook and Instagram analytics.”
When asked if other F&B outlets in Malaysia should come up with campaigns as such to create awareness and encourage people to register for the vaccine, Chin said many F&B outlets could not afford to offer such discounts as most of them have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Hence, he suggested that the government could incentivise businesses to not only come up with such campaigns, but also to get companies and their employees to register for Covid-19 immunisation.
“Other than that you know what for me, we always do things for the greater good of you know, the society.”
MCA Registers Over 32,000 People For Vaccination
MCA, through its Crisis Response Squad (CRSM), since early March, has taken the initiative to help over 32,000 people to register for the Covid-19 vaccine.
In a statement by MCA media spokesman Mike Chong on March 29, Chong said that CRSM has conducted 397 vaccine registration programmes nationwide.
Besides assisting the public with the Covid-19 registration, CRSM has also translated official information from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV), as well as the National Security Council as most of the information available is either in English or Malay.
“As of now, we have produced over 250 campaign materials, including infographics and video clips,” Chong said.
The MCA spokesman said that the political party will be conducting more Covid-19 vaccination campaigns to help the government achieve its target of herd immunity.
“We urge the public to give their corporation by registering soon, either by going through the government’s channel or CRSM counters that have been set up throughout the country.”