Almost every state in the country is now facing the problem of people not showing up for their vaccination appointments.
The number is not small and involves thousands of appointments as confirmed by the health director of each state.
It was reported that about 10,000 failed to show up for their vaccination appointments in Pahang while in Melaka, 3,934 people did not turn up.
In Johor, there were 14,144 no-shows, while Kelantan had almost 10,000, Perlis more than 3,000, Negeri Sembilan about 6,200, Kedah 10,827 and Perak over 9,000.
Melaka health and anti-drug committee chairman Rahmad Mariman said the reasons given included being unaware of the appointment dates, being unwell, and having no transport. There were also some who just refused to be vaccinated.
“If they cannot come on the scheduled day, their names are still there and they can still be vaccinated. But I suggest that everyone stick to their appointment to facilitate the process of vaccination,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor health director Dr Aman Rabu said those who refused to be vaccinated were mostly senior citizens who were registered by their children.
Pahang health director Dr Bahari Che Awang Ngah said the wait-and-see attitude and wanting to discuss with their children were identified as the main causes of senior citizens not showing up for their appointments.
“We hope the children and those who are close to the elderly will help explain the importance of taking the vaccine. Children should also be firm on this issue because they better understand the benefits of the vaccine,” he said.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba was reported as saying that the health ministry was considering the possibility of imposing compounds or penalties on individuals who failed to show up for their Covid-19 vaccination appointments.
He said the proposal would be brought to the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply meeting soon.