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Introduce creative policies to incentivise more Covid-19 vaccine registration

 

The government must be proactive in finding ways to incentivise more to sign up, especially those in vulnerable groups.

 

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen has called upon the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) to release specific data on the amount of people registered for Covid-19 vaccination on a district and sub-district level. This move is important as it will determine which target groups we must intensify our efforts on in educating or even incentivising them to register for the vaccine.

In a statement released today, Kelvin, who is also the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Science and Innovation Chairman stressed that the low number of registration among Malaysians as we enter phase 2 of vaccination is extremely concerning. He asserted,

 

“I read with concern on low registrations especially among those targeted for Phase 2 including those with disabilities (OKU), when they are the ones supposed to be the main priority for protection as they are of higher risk to develop severe symptoms or even face death in the event of contracting Covid-19.”


#Covid19 #Vaccination The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) must release specific…

Posted by Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen 俞利文 on Tuesday, 30 March 2021


As of the time of writing, Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) has revealed these worrying statistics regarding phase 2 of NCIP:

 
  • Only around 2 million elderly people and those with chronic conditions have registered.
  • That is only 22% of the government’s target for NCIP phase 2.
 
The Straits Times’ article screenshot on the low Covid-19 vaccine registration in Malaysia.
 

In relation to the above, Kelvin believes that there is currently a multi-faceted problem that does not only involve senior citizens’ unfamiliarity with the MySejahtera app, but also an apparent reluctance among the elderly to get vaccinated. Hence, the MP for Bandar Kuching calls upon data, especially on a district and sub-district level, including their geographical locations to be released so that a comprehensive intervention can be done.

Moreover, through utilisation of this data, the government can receive assistance from elected representatives in the area, NGOs, civil societies and even the private sector to remove any obstacle for registration that the rakyat may face.

Besides that, Kelvin also suggest several initiatives to increase registration for the vaccine, including:

 
  • Tapping into existing patient database both in the public and private sector and approaching them directly for registration.
  • Building trust by going to the people directly instead of waiting for them to turn up.
  • Implement creative policies to incentivise more registrations and promote vaccine’s benefits.
 

As for the latter, Kelvin provided example of the initiative by Israel in which a ‘Green Pass’ proposal was put forth whereby those that have been vaccinated will have access to social, cultural and sports events. These include gyms, hotels and being exempted from quarantine after returning from international travels or even after close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.

However, Kelvin stressed that such proposal will be flawed if not all Malaysians are able to access the vaccine, saying how it will likely lead to discrimination and abuse instead if not handled properly.

 
MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen in Parliament.
 

The MP for Bandar Kuching then iterated,

 

“The government must make sure that all barriers to vaccination must be removed for individuals who want to receive the vaccine, including obstacles related to access, logistics and health literacy, as well as provisions of reliable information to help people make an informed choice.“

 

All these policies must be properly studied by looking into its local context and feasibility of implementation. With no one left behind, only then can Malaysia reach its target of reaching herd immunity against Covid-19. – The Rocket.

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