Large Crowds For Booster Doses At Five Penang PPVs Due To Omicron Fears

Large Crowds For Booster Doses At Five Penang PPVs Due To Omicron Fears

Crowds gathered at five off-site public vaccination centres (PPVs) in Penang yesterday. Individuals came in massive numbers to get their Covid-19 booster doses after being alerted through the MySejahtera app.


Large Crowds For Booster Doses At Five Penang PPVs Due To Omicron Fears

Crowds gathered at five off-site public vaccination centres (PPVs) in Penang yesterday. Individuals came in massive numbers to get their Covid-19 booster doses after being alerted through the MySejahtera app.

This occurred as a result of the Health Ministry reducing the waiting period for booster vaccinations from six to three months in December last year.

Many factors are thought to have contributed to the crowd rush, including worries over the supposedly highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Certain individuals were unwilling to wait for an appointment, preferring to stroll in.

This resulted in the lengthening of the lines, but at the risk of violating standard operating procedures (SOPs), since the physical separation was seldom maintained.

Dr Parmjit Singh, head of the Penang Private Medical Practitioners Society, said that the scenario may be due to first-day “blues."

Source - Clinical Lab Manager

However, he advised the public to adhere to SOPs and keep their scheduled appointments.

Hundreds of people arrived at the former Equatorial Hotel, where the lobby has been converted into a ProtectHealth PPV, to get their boosters, some as early as 6 a.m.

According to a ProtectHealth spokesperson, the situation is worsened by the fact that many of the walk-ins were previously booked for different PPVs on later dates.

Some refused to go home as they had waited in line for hours,” he said.

Dr Norlela Ariffin, state health exco, said the big attendance was surprising, given that just 40% of those scheduled for boosters showed up on Sunday.

It was due to the low turnout that the health authorities allowed walk-ins, but the sheer number coming today was a surprise to us,” she said yesterday.

She urged those booked for MySejahtera appointments to stick to their appointed dates and urged those scheduled for PPVs to seek measures to accelerate their vaccination procedures.

Another reason contributing to the congestion was rumours that certain PPVs were providing three different booster vaccination brands — Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.

However, certain sites, such as Equatorial Hotel, were permitted to distribute just Pfizer and AstraZeneca booster vaccinations, while others were allowed to distribute all three booster vaccines.

Norlela asked those waiting their turn to comply with SOPs and exercise patience.

Individuals interested in walk-ins may also visit private hospitals, which provide the same booster doses to the public.

Former state Gerakan leader Goh Kheng Sneah was among those left perplexed by the process, stating that a better system should be implemented and that officials should be supported in abiding to SOPs.

Source – The Vibes

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