Dr M: Cut Red Tape, Vaccinate Walk-Ins

Dr Mahathir says rural residents may not have mobile phones or know how to use them to register for Covid-19 vaccination on MySejahtera.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged the government to reduce bureaucracy in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) by allowing walk-ins for their jabs.

The former prime minister said the current system of vaccinating people on set appointment dates after registration on the government’s mobile app MySejahtera was too complicated.

“One of the ways to curb the epidemic is through vaccination, but we find that there is too much bureaucracy in vaccination,” Dr Mahathir told a special Dewan Rakyat meeting today when debating Health Minister Dr Adham Baba’s briefing on the government’s Covid-19 public health response.

“They must first be registered, given appointments, and the like. Many ordinary people, especially villagers, may not have mobile phones or may not know how to use mobile phones to register [for vaccination]. 

“They may not be certain about their vaccination appointment date; they may not read it carefully and miss their appointment.”

The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) is only opening up walk-in vaccinations at certain inoculation centres (PPVs) in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor after August 1 for adults who did not receive their appointments by then.

Dr Mahathir said problems like insufficient vaccine supply and bureaucratic procedures made it difficult for people to get their Covid-19 shots.

“Usually, if they come too early and it’s not their appointment time yet, they will be told to come back later,” said the Langkawi MP.

“Instead, I believe that if they come to the vaccination site and we still have vaccines, we should just jab them so that we can record that the person has been vaccinated.”

Yesterday, however, 521,923 people were vaccinated nationwide, a record daily high of shots to the arm. More than half of the adult population, or 51.8 per cent, have received at least one vaccine dose, including 24.4 per cent who have been fully inoculated.

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