The nationwide vaccination program has indeed caused both delight and heavy controversy among the general public. While many Malaysians applaud the government’s efforts in speeding up the vaccination process and providing good service to the recipients of the vaccines, some have expressed their dissatisfaction towards a few issues arising from the vaccination program.
A prominent issue that’s heavily discussed in the past few weeks, is the administering of empty vaccines — syringes that were injected into the recipient’s body without having any vaccine in it! This has garnered a lot of frustration among Malaysians as they did not expect this to happen in a developing country such as Malaysia.
To combat this issue, on 23rd July, the National Covid-19 Imuunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, announced that members of the public are allowed to document themselves getting vaccinated via video or photographs. This would allow the health staff in charge, to be held accountable for their actions. This solution also provides a solution for vaccine irregularities and a low vaccine volume.
Hi korang! Mana2 yg baru nak pegi vaccine, please make sure korang tengok betul2 time cucuk tu betul2 tekan and please record as a proof. Benda ni even dah byk kali jadi still jadi lagi. Just happened to my cousin harini. Dia amik vaccine AZ kt PWTC harini. pic.twitter.com/kAQjIbGKBq
— NurAzniSyafiqah (@syikayahaya) July 28, 2021
Things may have seemed smooth for a few days, however, another video of a woman being given an empty vaccine made its rounds on social media. This incident occurred at WTC Kuala Lumpur around 9:30pm. The health staff in charge of vaccinating her, did not press the syringe filled with the vaccine. The previously unaware vaccine recipient only knew about this incident when she replayed the video.
It could be seen that the syringe was injected for a short while before pulled out with the vaccine still in the syringe! Following a report to the health staff, she was injected with another dose of the vaccine. The health staff in question, was not aware about her mistake. It’s evident that the now vaccinated woman, is frustrated by this and she obviously didn’t expect this to occur to her. In fact, Malaysians nationwide, have started expressing their fear in getting vaccinated with an empty vaccine.
This whole vaksin kosong thing is making people took their vaccines overthink and worry. It took so much courage for some people to get their vaccines and some ended up walking home without actually being vaccinated. Why are people doing that… Jangan la 😭
— Larissa Ping (@LarissaPing) July 19, 2021
On 19th July, Miss World 2018, Larissa Ping, tweeted her concern over the empty vaccine issue. She said, “This whole empty vaccine thing is making people who took their vaccines overthink and worry. It took so much courage for some people to get their vaccines and some ended up walking home without actually being vaccinated. Why are people doing that? Don’t la. We place so much trust on our vaccinators. Maybe some are unintentional, but do double check when you get your vaccines. Most PPVs don’t allow videos, but you can always ask your vaccinator to show the syringe before & after vaccination.”
She also included an advice from her friend who’s tasked to vaccinate people. According to her friend, all vaccinators are required to show the syringe before and after giving the vaccine. It’s also the peoples’ rights to have a look at the syringe.
Nevertheless, this issue is completely serious and hopefully, the authorities would be able to intervene in order to prevent such things from happening. This is not the first time a case as such occurred. Lately, there were three cases involving individuals who received vaccines from empty syringes in a few PPVs in Kedah, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.