Thinking of walking-in? Those who want COVID-19 vaccine booster urged to register on the waiting list

As reported yesterday, several vaccination centres have started offering walk-ins for eligible individuals who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine booster. ProtectHealth, the entity under the Ministry of Health, has issued a statement on the steps to be taken for those who are due to get their booster but have not received their MySejahtera appointment.

It clarified that MySejahtera will issue appointments as per the latest eligibility and prioritisation by age and health. If you can’t wait for the automatic appointment, ProtectHealth urges you to register yourself on the waiting list at a vaccination centre of your choice.

As announced by the Ministry of Health, the booster dose interval has been shortened from 6 to 3 months for individuals fully vaccinated with Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Sinovac recipients as well as senior citizens are also recommended to get their boosters 3 months after their second dose or risk losing their fully vaccinated status by February 2022.

How to apply for COVID-19 vaccine booster?

Here are the steps required to get your booster if you have not received an appointment.

  1. Find your nearest participating Vaccination Centre (PPV) on the ProtectHealth website.
  2. Call or visit them to register to be on the waiting list. You should only register at one PPV to avoid double booking.
  3. Once registered, just wait for your call as the PPV will contact you in the event of an appointment cancellation or no shows by others who have appointment via MySejahtera.
  4. Visit the PPV to get your booster dose based on the time given.

The ProtectHealth website lists private clinics and healthcare providers that are participating under the National Immunisation Programme. In addition, there are also off-site vaccination centres (PPV) that provide 500 to 3,000 boosters per day which include Paradigm Mall, KL Gateway Mall, Subang Parade, IOI City and the MINES 2.

If you prefer to get it at the off-site PPVs, you are also urged to follow the same steps of registering yourself on the waiting list. You can view the full list of off-site vaccination centres here.

With the announcement, ProtectHealth appears to be managing the crowd using a waiting list at each PPV. Most of these vaccination centres are currently prioritising vaccination appointments and those who walk-in would have to wait longer than usual. There’s also the possibility that the centres may have to turn down walk-ins if everyone turns up for their appointment and there are no extra doses available.

Yesterday afternoon, I’ve gotten my COVID-19 vaccine booster at KL Gateway Mall after posting about the walk-ins. I arrived at 3.52pm and was told by a crew member that it might take over an hour for walk-ins as the queue is prioritised for people with appointments. The KL Gateway Mall PPV offered Pfizer and AstraZeneca at the time, and I went with Pfizer for my booster as recommended by the Technical Working Group of the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force. I got my jab at 4.54pm and was out by 5.09pm after a 15-minute observation period.

I consider myself lucky as others have waited hours just to get their booster jab. @rincredible, the person behind the #CucukMyAZ hashtag had waited 5 hours to get her AstraZeneca booster. Her walk-in experience isn’t as smooth sailing and you can read more about it on her Twitter thread. Some were even rejected because the PPV insisted that AstraZeneca recipients could only get their boosters 6 months after the second dose, instead of the newly updated directive of 3 months.

If you don’t want to risk getting turned down or having to wait for a long time, it is probably best to follow ProtectHealth’s advisory to contact the PPV and to put your name on the waiting list. All vaccine boosters under the National Immunisation Programme are offered totally free of charge. Just make sure to bring your IC or passport along with your physical or digital vaccine certificate.

[ UPDATE 31/12/2021 11:50 ] We’ve reached out to ProtectHealth about the status of walk-in vaccination following the recent public statement. It explained the respective PPVs are allowed to accept walk-in based on ground conditions. It is not encouraged to walk in physically as waitlist as you might end up disappointed if there is no extra vaccine and it may cause crowding at the PPVs. Therefore the public is encouraged to register on the waitlist by contacting the preferred clinics or off-site PPVs as listed by ProtectHealth. You will be contacted there’s no show or if someone has cancelled their appointment.

source: SoyaCincau