40 per cent booster dose appointments in Penang no shows

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GEORGE TOWN: About 40 per cent of those who received their vaccine booster appointment dates in Penang through the MySejahtera application did not show up for their jabs, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

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Chow said, according to data shared by the state Health Department, the number of booster dose recipients as of yesterday was 23,129 people.

“The same data also revealed that about 40 per cent of those who received their vaccine booster appointment dates through the MySejahtera app failed to show up for their jabs,” he said.

As such, Chow said, several decisions had been made during the state special security committee meeting this morning to increase the current take-up rate.

“A total 26 new private facilities will soon be listed as vaccination centres for the booster shots from the current 47 facilities.

“The state Health Department has also received two applications for ‘Health Care Organisation’ (HCO) vaccination centres for the booster shots at bigger halls with a capacity exceeding 1,000 doses daily.

“All relevant agencies will join forces in increasing the people’s confidence to get the booster shots,” he added, noting that focus would also be given to those who did not show up for their second dose of vaccination, including left out cases.

On Tuesday, state Health Committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin urged the Health Ministry to speed up the administration of booster doses to frontline workers and senior citizens to better protect them from Covid-19.

She had said that the administration of booster doses in the state was relatively slow, as only 16,000 out of 41,000 frontline workers had received their booster doses.

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Meanwhile, Chow said the state Health Department also emphasised that the spread of Covid-19 was still within the community.

As such, according to Chow, the people should continue to practise TRIIS; – Test, Report, Inform, Isolate and Seek – and get themselves tested if they display any symptoms.

“This is also the key to control the spread of the Delta variant detected in the state,” he said.

Chow also said, overall, Penang recorded a significant drop in Covid-19 cases compared to September as well as deaths and Brought-in-Dead (BID) cases.

“To ensure Covid-19 continues to be under control, all quarters, especially those tested positive and placed under ‘Home Surveillance Order’ (HSO) through the MySejahtera app should adhere to the directive although they are not made to physically put on the pink wristband.

“The people themselves can also report on any violation by those who tested positive for Covid-19 to the authorities,” he added.

Chow said although Penang had eased into Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) on Monday after various efforts taken over the past two years, the people should not be careless as the fight against Covid-19 was far from over.-NST