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File picture shows people waiting in line to receive their AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine shot at the Vaccine Delivery Centre located at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre May 29, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
File picture shows people waiting in line to receive their AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine shot at the Vaccine Delivery Centre located at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre May 29, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — A petition to speed up the nation-wide vaccination programme using all available private and public clinics along with hospitals has begun to gain traction online, with over 25,000 signatures as of 1.35pm today.

The petition, titled ‘Mass vaccination in the shortest time possible’, was posted on the change.org online platform and addressed to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, by a user named Chandrika Parameswaran.

“We the ‘Rakyat’ demand for our right to protection against Covid-19, with an immediate and full roll out of a nationwide mass vaccination programme, as proposed by the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Association of Malaysia (FPMPAM) in its media release dated May 28,” reads the petition page.

FPMPAM had urged the government to take advantage of some 7,000 general practitioners and thousands of “Klinik Kesihatan”, which it said could easily vaccinate up to 50 patients daily, and along with private hospitals, can vaccinate “a large number of people in a very short time”.

Angeline Lim, an associate of Chandrika, said the petition was conceived by fellow alumni of a school — the name of which she did not disclose.

“We share updates regularly in the chat group, and a media release by the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Association of Malaysia dated May 28 prompted us to take action,” Lim said when contacted.

She said many who signed the petition shared hers’ and her schoolmates’ frustrations.

User HM Chin wrote when endorsing the petition, “lives are at stake and most important to get as many Malaysians vaccinated at the shortest time possible.

“We do not need a government that acts as if they know all. Listen to the public and respond with urgency. Needless lives are lost every delay by the people supposed to protect the citizens,” he added.

Private doctors too, such as user “Dr CW Chang”, have seemingly joined the call.

“As a GP, I have been vaccinating families for 30 years, all at their convenience in their local neighbourhood. Why should Covid vaccination be any different? Because of a monopoly? The need for canggih e-documentation? Supply the vaccines, I will jab my patients at no cost to the government,” he wrote.

Malaysia recorded over 9,020 new Covid-19 cases and 98 deaths yesterday, and a nationwide lockdown is imminent, beginning tomorrow and ending June 14.

Despite repeated statements by National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) coordinating minister Khairy Jamalludin that the programme will pick up pace in coming months as more vaccination centres and resources are introduced, the programme has been criticized for being far too slow and falling behind vaccinations programmes of neighbouring countries.


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