Malaysians have taken to social media to vent their anger and frustration with the AstraZeneca vaccine registration this afternoon, with many comparing trying to secure an appointment slot to that of the ‘Hunger Games’.
Registration for a second round of the AstraZeneca vaccine opened around 12.15pm this afternoon and, within 90 minutes, all one million doses had been snapped up.
Malaysians had been eagerly waiting for the sign up today but many faced problems with the slow and lagging website. Many were also not able to access the site at all.
“Tried registering for my wife since 12.15pm…but, I can’t even click (to choose) the state. Is this The Hunger Games?” former education minister Maszlee Malik wrote on Twitter.
In a follow-up tweet, the Simpang Renggam lawmaker added “I can’t believe I had to claim I’m not a robot for nearly a thousand times today.”
Maszlee was referring to the checkbox that needs to be ticked to rule out spam bots.
A frontline doctor also took to Twitter to point out how bad the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) website was, adding that the government had “screwed” up.
“#AstraZeneca I am a front liner, struggling to register my family members for your vaccine thus far. My failure to do so in the last 1/2 hour tells me how bad this government has screwed us. Fighting to get vaccines like going on Boxing Day sales. Heartbreaking,” De Sherrini Ahmad (@SherriniAhmad) tweeted.
Others also pointed out how the government had spent RM70 million to develop its data integration and appointment system for the vaccine roll out, and yet ended up with a malfunctioning website.
News portal Malaysiakini’s CEO Premesh Chandran tagged National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a tweet in which he called the JKJAV website “crap tech”.
“@Khairykj You have crap tech. @malaysiakini we manage millions of concurrent users on election night. No failure. Cut the crap. #AstraZeneca #CucukMYAZ.”
Another user Asyqincamille (@asyycamille) said, “Very disappointed with our system. Why announce if it cannot handle millions of registrations. #AstraZeneca.”
With the website glitches, and it not being able to handle the large amount of traffic, some have urged Putrajaya to consider going to the ground, especially in the rural areas, to actively vaccinate those who have not received or signed up for the vaccine.
Singer Sheila Majid tweeted, “The rural and older people may not know how to go online, let alone register online on MySejahtera. Perhaps MySejahtera or KKM should consider going into kampungs to vaccinate people, just like how immunisation programmes used to be done in schools before.”
Activist Marina Mahathir shared the same sentiment. In a tweet, she said, “Seems to me the most sensible thing to do is to forget this registration rigmarole. Just set up mobile clinics in ‘hoods with old folks, PPR flats, factories and kampungs and just vaccinate those who haven’t gotten it yet.”
The hashtag #AstraZeneca has been trending on Twitter since this afternoon as Malaysians voiced their displeasure over the vaccine rollout.
Khairy had earlier mentioned that 1.2 million doses of the vaccine were up for grabs, but it is uncertain how many of those were snapped up this afternoon.
The official Twitter account of the vaccine supply committee said that 300,000 registrations were in just half an hour after the portal opened.
Shortly after that, the sign-up was closed, but the committee did not disclose how many doses were snapped up.
“Appointment booking for the second round of the AstraZeneca Voluntary Vaccine Initiative Invitation is now closed. Those who are eligible will receive an appointment soon. Thank you for your interest in helping the nation achieve herd immunity,” it tweeted.
It is understood that the government acquired more than 559,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second rollout.
With the latest delivery, the total number of AstraZeneca vaccines received from the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access stood at 828,000 doses.
As of yesterday, some 2,583,048 vaccine doses had been administered to the population.
This number covers both first and second doses. – TMI