Tweak vaccination registration process now to expedite herd immunity

By Rajiv Rishyakaran


THE recent statement by the Minister Khairy Jamaludin that more than half (57%) of the 31,776 that have been given vaccination dates for Phase 2 have not responded, thus risking them to lose out on their appointment must be taken extremely seriously.

Of the 31,776 appointments sent out through the MySejahtera application and SMS, he said, 18,215 did not respond, 13,218 confirmed their appointment dates, and 343 declined.

We have just started phase 2 and low response rates towards these appointment dates will delay our progress in having 70% of the population required to reach herd immunity – keeping in mind that achieving herd immunity is a race against time.

Clearly the current method of merely “registering your interest” in vaccination and setting the appointment dates separately later by SMS or push notification is failing miserably. All the efforts by various parties to register people for vaccination at the markets and other public areas is coming to a waste!

Rather than just register your interest, which is what’s happening now, Khairy must allow people to book in their specific time and date slot. It’s time to take this seriously if we want to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible!

I have made several statements in regards of how the process can be made far more efficient if the vaccination venues are known upfront, and participants can choose their date and time slot accordingly, the way we already do for most appointment systems, including in various government agencies.

After all, MySejahtera is a location-based app and should be able to indicate the nearest available clinic/vaccination centre for the appointment to be made.

In fact, the Ministry of Health (MOH) already has in place such an appointment system when it comes to making appointments to see a doctor or even just to collect medicine in our local Klinik Kesihatan as well as several private clinics via

It is baffling that the Government will not use readily available pieces of technology to smoothen the process.

Meanwhile, Khairy is busy crying out loud that there are low responses instead of taking the proactive move to improve the registration process. He said those who declined their first appointment date will then receive a second appointment date.

How long will this cycle of people declining and a new date be proposed will go on? This will not only further strain the healthcare system but lengthen the waiting for people in different phases.

Not only will we increase the registration rate but the process of setting up these appointments will be significantly easier with this technical change. It would be almost like buying movie tickets!

Thus, I call upon the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) to make this tweak in the registration process that will benefit everyone involved. – April 14, 2021


Rajiv Rishyakaran is the state assemblyman for Bukit Gasing, Selangor.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE