Malaysia's AstraZeneca vaccine registration was a nightmare. What might have happened?
It was May 26. The Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) would be opening its registration for the opt-in AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination programme at 12pm that day.
This would be the third time the registration were open, after the second one just a few days ago on May 23 that was limited only to those above 60.
The first registration run on May 2 saw over 286,800 slots in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor snapped up in merely three hours, despite the many hiccups that day.
Anticipation for this third run was high, driven by stories of those who had their jabs using the hashtag #CucukMYAZ.
Those outside Klang Valley who were on the outside looking in could not wait to get their hands on the slots that were now opened to those in Penang, Johor, and Sarawak as well. A total of 1.26 million doses would be on offer.
Expectations for the registration site were high. Surely JKJAV had learnt their lessons from the previous two roll-outs? Surely it was third time lucky for the AstraZeneca programme?
Anxiety caused by the first run caused some users to stand by with more than one device in hand. Some had multiple screens open on the site, ready to click all at once to ensure they get a spot.
Noon arrived and the registration still had not gone live. Frustration mounted in the 20 minutes that went by between 12pm and when it actually went live.
With a breath of relief, users started clicking the button for their own states, waiting to see which slots were open so they could then choose their vaccination centres (PPV) and time.
Click. Again, nothing happened. Thousands across the country were left dumbfounded on what to do next. Should they wait? Should they keep clicking until something happens?
Many chose the latter option. This was perhaps when things really went wrong.
The site would remain unresponsive. Some would be denied access to even open it. For some the site just would not load. Many spent minutes tearing their hair out.
It would not be until 1pm when some users could start receiving slots. By merely half an hour later, the registration was already closed, causing more to swear in disbelief.
Minister in charge Khairy Jamaluddin and the CITF would later apologise, and announced that 959,609 bookings were recorded despite many saying online they could barely get through the first step.
AstraZeneca would then be reintegrated into the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. But that was hardly the end of the fiasco.
Many would later complain that they received a slot even when they did not manage to book for it. Or that they received a slot, but in another state far away from them.
Calls for Khairy to divulge the names of those responsible for the shambles were met with silence. There is still no answer as to how the RM70 million allocated for the project was spent. Instead, one Twitter user was arrested for asking.
But above all, what in the world happened? Why did the button not work?
Obviously, it is hard to ascertain exactly what happened without knowing exactly how the gears work inside the box, and we have yet to get anybody actually working on the JKJAV website to come clean and explain.
So, here is what some web developers and programmers polled by BBNU thought had happened.
We will discuss this more after the jump, for subscribers only. 👇