Thousands turn up for first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in Malaysia

9am crowd at the World Trade Center KL. Photo: Jemilah Mahmood/Twitter
9am crowd at the World Trade Center KL. Photo: Jemilah Mahmood/Twitter

Thousands of Malaysians turned up at various vaccination centers today to get their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

A total of 268,000 people aged 18 and up in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor signed up for the voluntary vaccination program on Sunday to get their free injections at one of four centers despite risks of the British-Swedish vaccine causing blood clots – a side effect reported in just a small percentage of those who had taken it. 

The four centers are: World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Malaya in KL, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, and Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The big turnout was captured in various photos posted to social media with the hashtag  #CucukMyAZ (#JabMyAZ), which has been used nearly 3,000 times since this morning. Those who have gotten their AstraZeneca jabs will be notified for their second dose due in eight to 12 weeks.

 

The government made the decision to drop AstraZeneca from its main inoculation drive amid hesitancy and safety concerns in Europe. Those who choose not to opt for the AstraZeneca jabs will be given either the Pfizer or Sinovac vaccine depending on the roll-out program, which is currently in its second phase and is prioritizing senior citizens.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is said to be over 60% effective against symptomatic coronavirus infections, according to the World Health Organization. Within hours of getting inoculated, some Malaysians were already reporting common side effects such as temporary soreness in the arm. 

@Pxmpkin wrote: “Post 4 hours jab: just headache, well-controlled still. numbness is gone yay🥰don’t worry too much friends. can’t wait for mom’s turn I hope pwtc crowd is well-organized by now #CucukMYAZ #AstraZeneca.”

@IsaacPlaysPOGO chimed in: “And we are done! Entire vaccination process took less than an hour, massive props to the frontliners and volunteers for facilitating the program so well #CucukMYAZ.”

Vaccine coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin hinted on Sunday that there will be more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for those who missed out on the initial registration, as well as those currently on the wait list.

“We have closed the AZ wait list. There are more AZ vaccines scheduled for delivery. We will prioritise those on the wait list when the new shipment arrives,” he said.

Other stories to check out:

Malaysia finds new COVID-19 variant from South Africa in 17 Selangor cases

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