IF you are a Penangite aged 18-year-old and above and have not registered via the MySejahtera application for your Covid-19 vaccine appointment, worry not as you can now walk in to selected Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) to get your jab.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow on Sept 7 had shared on his Facebook page that a total of 10 PPVs in Penang would participate in this initiative.
They are the Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Sungai Nibong Pesta Site and Balik Pulau Sports Complex on the island, and Pusat Konvensyen Perda, Dewan Millenium, SP Arena, Seberang Jaya expo site, Vangohh Eminent Hotel, Sungai Bakap Multipurpose Hall and Jawi Multipurpose Hall on the mainland.
At a time when getting vaccinated is one of the ways to keep the virus at bay, it was no surprise that the PPV at SPICE Convention Centre drew large crowds of people as early as 7am.
Nur Farah Izzati, 19, who works at a mini market, was seen in a jubilant mood as she was able to finally receive her vaccine.
“I registered back in July while waiting to further my studies, but I did not receive any appointment until today. Now, I can finally get myself vaccinated through the walk-in option.
“It was worrying for me as my job requires me to meet customers. My boss gave me a day off and here I am today, to finally receive the vaccine.
“Thank you to the state government for this initiative. Now, everyone can get vaccinated,” Izzati told Buletin Mutiara today.
Other criteria include recipients must only be Malaysian citizens (bring identification card for verification), registered via MySejahtera but have not received appointment dates and on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
It is important to note that vaccines will be administered based on the capacity of each PPV and the supplies available.
Recipients are required to update their MySejahtera status before heading to the PPV and must not have symptoms or be close contact and are not under quarantine.
Another recipient, G. Gunalan, 50, a businessman, said he came as early as 9.15am to beat the queue, but to his surprise, people were already making a beeline for the centre even before he arrived.
“This is a huge relief for me as I have registered since May, but did not receive any appointment.
“My family members have all received their doses, and I am the latest to join the list,” Gunalan said.
Alex Hong, 29, a business development executive, was also part of the 100m-long queue at the entrance of the Convention Centre.
“I don’t mind the queue, as long as I am vaccinated.
“Huge thanks to the Penang government for making this move,” he said.
Meanwhile, Setia SPICE Convention Centre PPV manager Dr Norhashimah Ismail said the Health Centre Organisations (HCO) C and D (booths) were designated to administer the Pfizer vaccine here.
“A total of 500 doses are prepared every day for walk-in recipients. Each HCO will have 250 doses to administer.
“As long as we have the supplies, the vaccination will continue for those who walk in,” she said.
Norhashimah urged people not to come too early as the operations only start at 10am.
Meanwhile on the mainland, PPVs with walk-in option received positive response from the people.
The Buletin Mutiara team visited the PPVs involved on the mainland to observe the operations at the vaccination centres.
Although many Penangites were waiting for their turn to get inoculated, all of them could be seen adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Among them was Nor Sharida Abdul Aziz, 33.
“Overall, I think this is a good initiative by the Penang government to allow walk-ins at selected PPVs.
“Now every Penangite won’t have excuses to not take their vaccine.
“It is just the waiting time at the PPV that needs to be improved.
“It took me more than one hour to get my first dose, so I would like to suggest to the authority to make a schedule or something that can prevent too many people coming at the same time to get the vaccine,” said Nor Sharida when approached by Buletin Mutiara today.
As for Vijaya Singaperumal, 47, she was very excited to get her shot today.
“Finally, the moment that I have been waiting for has arrived and I am thankful for it.
“I have registered through the MySejahtera application a few months ago but still did not get the appointment for vaccination.
“I was very frustrated back then because all of my friends and family members have already got their jabs.
“What made me even more frustrated is that every public place that I tried to enter require us to have at least one dose of vaccine.
“So, I am pleased with this walk-in exercise. This is the right step by the Penang government to ensure all of us are vaccinated,” she said.
For Mohd Zainuddin Mohd Ruzaini, 45, he thanked the state government for such an initiative and expressed hopes that more PPVs would do the same.
“If the state government can increase more than what we already have, then, I believe more people would be able to get the vaccine. With that, I am confident we can reach herd immunity even faster. This is just my opinion.
“At the same time, this can also reduce the waiting time at the PPV as well,” he added.
Story by Kevin Vimal and Riadz Akmal
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi and Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar