Poor organisation, coordination and communication made a mess of the vaccination process at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur today.
With 16,200 people scheduled to get vaccinated here over the weekend, it appeared as if little had been done to prepare for the huge number of vaccine recipients.
There were no markings on the floor to indicate where vaccine recipients were supposed to stand or line up. Many who turned up were unclear whether they were supposed to queue up to enter the only door that was open or walk straight onwards to the front.
“How many days have they had to organise? It’s so messy,” said one Malaysian, who requested to remain anonymous, as he looked around, confused as to where he was supposed to wait for his appointment.
While people formed loose queues inside the building, certain groups were ordered to bypass them.
Police, military personnel and organisers seemed out of sync, with some shouting that certain groups in the crowd should come “right to the front” while others were told to remain waiting in disorderly queues.
It was difficult to ascertain who was actually in charge, with each group of officials occasionally calling a different time slot forward, adding to the confusion.
Social distancing was made difficult by the lack of clarity.
Julie, who was scheduled to be vaccinated at 11.30am, said she was called into the building around noon.
The closer people got to the actual vaccination hall, the better the signages became.
“There seemed to be no coordination. Outside, they had just called for the 11.30am batch. But when you enter, they tell you that you’re late. It was a mistake to choose a weekend to do the vaccination.”
Distancing measures were slightly better inside the building, but it was still unclear where a person was supposed to go once he or she had entered.
While there were stickers on the ground and signage to indicate where the different “stations” were to queue, these were frequently not observed by officials on duty, who asked recipients booked for certain time slots to bypass them entirely.
In comparison, the main hall was well organised and orderly, with chairs spaced out according to government SOPs, and the instructions were clear.
Inside the hall, instructions were much clearer, and the process was more organised.
The recipients were directed to chairs according to their groupings and called up via a ticketing system.
Getting to that point, however, was clearly a work in progress.
Coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin had announced that some 2,800 people had their slots for this weekend rescheduled to avoid overcrowding.
However, it appeared that the larger problem was not the number of people who turned up for the vaccination, but a lack of preparation.
The World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur is just one of several centres in the Klang Valley which are carrying out vaccination for those who had registered for the AstraZeneca shots. – FMT