‘No show’ a speed bump in national vaccination drive

Izah Azahari

Three hundred (or 30 per cent) of foreign workers and 200 locals (10 per cent) did not turn up to get inoculated at the Indoor Stadium Vaccination Centre on Friday and Sunday, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said at a press conference yesterday.

A thousand slots were allocated for foreign workers on Sunday, and 2,000 slots were allocated for locals on Friday, from 2pm to 8pm.

The minister expressed hopes that moving forward, companies will notify the Ministry of Health (MoH), should they not be able to make the appointment. This will allow the MoH the chance to get in touch with other companies looking to inoculate their employees.

“Companies need to play a role in aiding the government speed up this vaccination programme,” he said.

Although reasoning had been provided for the absentees, the minister expressed hopes that this issue will be lessened next week, if not eradicated altogether.

People wait for their turn to get vaccinated at the National Vaccination Centre at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas. MUIZ MATDANI

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham shared that mass swabbing using the antigen rapid test (ART) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was conducted during Friday and Sunday of the vaccination programme, at which seven individuals were found infected with COVID-19 – three on Friday and four on Sunday.

“This is a manual contact-tracing. If you were there with a face mask on and maintaining a social distance, Insya Allah, it will be fine. It is important to note that those who tested positive did not display any symptoms and are unsure how they got it.

“This is why the government has repeatedly called for people not to go out if there is no need for it, except for matters such as getting vaccinated. However, we are carrying out mitigation and ways to avoid a spread from occurring there by carrying out these swab tests,” he said.