Khairy: 2nd Round Of AstraZeneca Opt-In Programme For Senior Citizens Opens On 23 May

Only excess AstraZeneca doses that have not been taken up by senior citizens will be given to those below the age of 60.

Cover image via Reuters via Malaysiakini & The Straits Times

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Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that the second round of the AstraZeneca opt-in programme will open on 23 May

In a tweet today, 17 May, the minister responsible for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme said the opt-in programme will be opened to those above the age of 60.

He also said the vaccination will be given to senior citizens in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sarawak, and Johor because these states have the highest COVID-19 cases.

"However, those on the present round [one] waitlist will get appointments," Khairy added in the Twitter thread.

Meanwhile, Khairy added that if senior citizens do not fully take up the AstraZeneca doses, Malaysians below the age of 60 can register for the opt-in programme beginning 26 May

He revealed that in a virtual press conference today, highlighting that senior citizens will be prioritised for the second round of the AstraZeneca vaccination.

An earlier tweet by the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) also refuted a claim on social media that applications for the AstraZeneca vaccine are now open to all Malaysians.

Senior citizens who are interested in registering for the opt-in vaccination will be able to do so on JKJAV's website or through community outreach at the district health office level

Khairy also added in the tweet that the AstraZeneca vaccination will be sent to elderly care homes.

This comes after a report by New Straits Times yesterday, 16 May, quoting an association representing more than 1,700 old folks' homes — Malaysian Residential Aged Care Operators (MyAgeCOpe) — as saying that they are disappointed with the government as more than 9,000 elderly residents and staff have yet to be vaccinated.

"It seems like the government, KKM (the Ministry of Health) doesn't care. Or maybe Khairy doesn't even know about these vulnerable elderly groups being neglected," MyAgeCOpe secretary-general Fong Muntoh lamented.

"Initially, the government promised that senior citizens and the high-risk groups would be the second on the priority list to receive the vaccination after the frontliners, but to date, nothing has been done."

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