While the government is taking the efforts to ramp up the vaccination rate in the country, which is commendable, there are also risks attached to mass vaccinations, as people are exposed to infection possibility.
While Malaysians are generally sticklers to standard operating procedures (SOPs) – at least in vaccination centres – the same cannot be said for a good number of foreigners. Many do not observe social distance, they tend to jostle in lines, talk to each other loudly. While the Rela or security personnel try to control and urge them to follow the SOPs, they still lapse into not observing the SOPs.
Take my experience for instance at the Bukit Jalil Vaccination Centre. I went there few minutes before my appointment which was on August 1, 2.30pm. I received my vaccination shot at 7.30pm. A five-hour wait and exposure to hundreds of people. The irony was I read about a glowing report online in a news website about how one person received her vaccination within half an hour of arrival and how smooth the process was in the same centre a week earlier.
It was not the same for me. Besides the long wait and unclear directions, the crowd was a nightmare. Nothing against foreigners coming in with appointments made through MySejahtera. However, many of the foreigners in front of me were jumping the line. The lines were so long that the Rela personnel could not really manage it.
I am now just wondering how the scenario will be when the walk in for foreigners in full begins next week. With their tendency to jostle and jump lines? I understand the urgency to get everyone vaccinated but the systems must be improved to ensure that no clusters will arise from people’s inability to observe a SOP as important as social distancing.