It is said that as of 17th July 2021, based on the vaccination progress around the world, it is estimated that 1 billion people has been full vaccinated whilst 1.04 billion people have been partially vaccinated. One of the plus points in recent days is that Malaysia is leading on the number of daily doses administrated per 100 people. Chart source: Our World In Data / Mathieu, E., Ritchie, H., Ortiz-Ospina, E. et al
Read These First:-
- Outbreak 2021: How Far We Have Gone With COVID19 Vaccination in Malaysia?
- Mandatory Quarantine 2020: Part 2 – Numerous Registrations, Strict COVID19 Screening
- Outbreak 2021: Comparing Covid-19 Vaccines Based on Efficacy Number
- Lockdown in Malaysia 2020: Day 94 – A Sense of False Security On The Horizon
Be early for the vaccination even though the traffic from your house to the vaccine administration centre can be light. The traffic jam towards the vaccine administration centre designated parking was bad but it was moving, thanks to the volunteers and RELA personals on guard.
Finally, My Vaccination Done
It has been a long wait since February 2021 for the MOH to schedule my vaccination date and despite the reported high number of vaccinations done on daily basis. It was more surprising that people that I know who registered later than me managed to get vaccination dates earlier than me.
And I am not referring to the crazy 2nd round of AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccination registration that was happened on 26th May 2021. The madness to rush to register caused the bottleneck that caused many left frustrated.
I check the MySejahtera app on daily basis – the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. Only then I check my emails and any breaking news before getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. I have been doing that every day since I first registered for vaccination.
Then one day I noticed that an old friend of mine who registered later than me managed to get a vaccination date so I decided to check with the Helpdesk wondering if they are processing my registration. Then to my surprise, I got a message that the vaccination date has been fixed. Finally, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.
There is plenty of places to wait out outside the Movenpick convention centre so if you are early to either get vaccinated or to pick your family or relatives who getting their vaccine, you can just wait out here. Unfortunately, there is little shade here and it can get crowded.
The vaccination administration centre assigned was at Movenpick Hotel at KLIA which is close to my home so I don’t have to leave home very early. However the excitement and the urge to ensure I reach there on time, I decided to leave early anyway. I did not mind waiting for hours at the hotel car park before it is my turn to get vaccinated.
The journey to the vaccination centre was uneventful – no police roadblocks and the traffic were not that heavy. In fact, I had to slow down so as not to reach the centre too early.
I reached almost one hour before my appointment time but it was a good thing – from far, I could see the traffic jam on the road leading to the vaccination centre. Traffic was moving slowly but it will take time indeed. It took me almost 15 minutes to move from the main gate to the parking lot at the nearby mosque’s parking lot. Despite the traffic, there were plenty of empty parking lots.
If not mistaken, there are about 5 stations that one needs to go through before the vaccination is administered. The stations are well organised with plenty of seats with social distancing. The progress however is slow due to the high number of people turning up for vaccination.
Since there were plenty of empty seats, not many questions were asked when I headed to the registration table earlier. The vaccine that this vaccination centre dispenses is the China-made Sinovac vaccine. From the main entrance to the exit, there were plenty of volunteers who guided everyone to the correct stations and the SOP is clear and precise.
However, the waiting time was painful as we move on from one station to another very slowly so having your smartphones comes in handy to kill the boredom. The actual injection itself was fast, barely minutes. The first vaccination is done and now I need to wait for another 3 weeks before I go for the second dose. The status in the MySejahtera app is updated automatically – the only item I had to scan is the vaccine batch QR code.
The cubicle where the injection is actually administered – there is only 1 doctor inside the cubicle who will do the actual injection. This is also the place for me to scan the bar code into MySejathera app so that the vaccine number, batch and expiry date is captured.
AstraZeneca vs Sinovac
Since I was not able to register for AstraZeneca previously and the next shipment of Pfizer will only come in July, I somehow expected to get the Sinovac vaccine when my turn for the vaccination.
For those who are interested, here are some differences between AstraZeneca and Sinovac are as follows:-
Doses: 2, 28 Days Apart
Likely EUA Date: Authorized in Europe on January 12, 2021, and other countries, but unlikely in the U.S. until spring
Price: $2.15 (U.S.) in the EU; $3-4 (U.S.) in the UK and U.S.; $5.25 (U.S.) in South Africa
Efficacy: Currently about 70% overall.
Variants: At least one study finds it has little effect against the South African variant but appears effective against the UK and Brazilian variants.
Type: Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus
Likely EUA Date: Not applicable in the U.S.
Price: $60 per dose in China ($29.75 per dose)
Efficacy: 50.38% to 91.25%, depending on the clinical trial
Variants: Unknown, although a study in Brazil demonstrated 50.4% efficacy at preventing symptomatic infections.
And further information on Sinovac is as follows:-
The Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is behind the CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine. It works by using killed viral particles to expose the body’s immune system to the virus without risking a serious disease response.
By comparison, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines being developed in the West are mRNA vaccines. This means part of the coronavirus’ genetic code is injected into the body, triggering the body to begin making viral proteins, but not the whole virus, which is enough to train the immune system to attack.
“CoronaVac is a more traditional method [of vaccine] that is successfully used in many well-known vaccines like rabies,” Associate Prof Luo Dahai of the Nanyang Technological University told the BBC.
“mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine and there is [currently] no successful example [of them] being used in the population,” Prof Luo adds.
This will be the final hurdle before we are released from our detention – after the injection is done, everyone is required to wait at least 15 minutes. In the end, one is given a small card that states the details of the vaccination done.
Increasing Supply of Vaccines
In the area of supply of vaccines in the country, there have been only good news lately:-
“We have received one million doses of AstraZeneca from Japan and will soon be receiving contributions from the United States and China.
He said the government was also working hard to secure the delivery of the CanSino vaccine in July.
“Not only is this vaccine safe and effective, it is a single-dose vaccine.
Another is this:-
Malaysia will be receiving 14.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in July, according to the latest tweet by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV).
These, it said, comprise a total of 6.43 million doses of Pfizer vaccine from Pfizer as well as the donation from the US, 1.59 million doses of AstraZeneca (delivery of AstraZeneca manufactured in Thailand and donation from Japan) and 6.38 million doses of Sinovac (from Pharmaniaga and donation from China).
Under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), the country has thus far deployed shots manufactured by Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
Malaysia has received 8.6 million Covid-19 vaccines as of June 21, according to data provided by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF). These include 828,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 4.08 million of Pfizer vaccine and 3.69 million doses of Sinovac vaccine.
Based on this number, one will only expect the vaccination process to speed up, increasing the number of Malaysians vaccinated.
Chart source: Vaksin Malaysia
Vaccination Statistics Todate
In total, as of 17th July 2021, out of the 18.9 million who have registered to be vaccinated, we have done 1st dose vaccination for 9.6 million people in July 2021 compared to 2.85 million in April 2021. That is indeed a substantial increase considering the MOH have also increased the number of vaccination administration centres around the country.
Overall, the state of Sabah still holds the record with the lowest vaccination done at 12.2%. It is also the state with the lowest vaccine registration at 35.9% compared to other states in Malaysia. Is this because of the overwhelming number of illegal immigrants from the Philippines or because the registration is not followed through or there is a special logistic problem in the state?
Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said that the numbers were not reflective of the work and effort that health officers had put in on the ground to get people aware of the vaccine and physically sign them up.
“Most people prefer to register manually, especially in rural areas,” he said when contacted. He said that due to the manual labour involved, the number has not been factored into the system yet.
People that Malay Mail spoke to who had yet to register have many reasons why they have yet to register ― some are adopting a lackadaisical attitude, either out of fear of side effects or just plain procrastination, while others, mostly the elderly or those in rural districts, either do not have access to a smartphone or can’t be bothered to figure out how to work the app.
The state of Selangor which has the highest number of COVID19 infections, have achieved 96.7% registration but so far only achieved 30.4% of vaccination done. Certainly, this needs to be improved.
On the other side of the vaccination card is a list of side effects and what to do next. Most of the people I know had some form of side effects but surprisingly I did not encounter any side effects except pangs of hunger and sleepiness.
There has been news of others who have been waiting since February to get their vaccination date which is a piece of good news considering that we are still having a high number of COVID19 cases.
Personally, I am happy to participate in the national vaccination program so that in the end, the number of people vaccinated will be increased substantially towards the country achieving 80% herd immunity.