All 268,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine allocated for residents in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have been snapped up, despite the vaccine’s recent struggle with bad publicity over the risk of blood clots in some recipients.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said all available slots for the jabs had been fully booked as of 3.20pm.
“We will start pushing appointment to your MySejahtera or SMS soon,” Khairy, who is in charge of the country’s vaccination programme, added in a Twitter post.
He also apologised for an initial glitch and some technical difficulties that had occurred early in the booking phase.
“You can still click on the grey boxes to put yourself on a wait list for next couple of hours,” he added.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, currently forms the backbone of the Covax scheme, which ensures that poorer countries can access doses, with donors covering the cost.
It entered the spotlight after reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients in countries including Canada and Britan, some of whom died after receiving the jab.
Khairy said earlier this week that the AstraZeneca jabs in Malaysia would not be included in the national vaccination programme.
Instead, they will be given on a voluntary basis taking into consideration public anxiety over the potential side effects.
Both the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization have repeatedly encouraged countries to continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying blood clots should be listed as a “very rare” side effect.
The first AstraZeneca shots in Malaysia will be administered as early as May 5.