KL, Selangor lawyers get priority for Covid-19 vaccination

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A health personnel prepares a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at Universiti Teknologi Mara Shah Alam, June 23, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
A health personnel prepares a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at Universiti Teknologi Mara Shah Alam, June 23, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Lawyers here and in Selangor have been prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination following requests presented by the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee and the Selangor Bar Committee to the government.

The Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee made it clear, however, that the prioritised vaccination would be for all lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia or members of the Malaysian Bar, as long as they register their interest through an online form.

Today, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee in a circular to lawyers and chambering pupils of the Malaysian Bar announced the good news following a meeting yesterday with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who is coordinating the country’s Covid-19 immunisation efforts.

In the circular, Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee chairman Vivekananda Sukumaran and its honorary secretary Alvin Oh Seong Yew said a presentation was given to Khairy yesterday in their meeting with him, regarding the risks of Covid-19 exposure faced by Malaysian Bar members and chambering pupils in the discharge of their duties as lawyers.

The circular noted that Khairy recognised and acknowledged the role of lawyers in the administration of justice, adding that he had shared his concerns over the safety of lawyers when carrying out their duties.

“Pursuant to the aforesaid meeting with the Minister, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) has agreed to prioritise the vaccination of Members and Pupils-in-Chambers of the Malaysian Bar who have registered their interest via the link provided in KLBC Circular 131 (the Link),” the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee said.

As of June 23, a total of 1,908 Malaysian Bar members and pupils-in-chambers have registered their interest through the form.

The Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee said Mosti aimed to provide these registrants with vaccination appointments through their MySejahtera application by July 15, with priority to be given to those who declared health complications on the link, those who aged 50 and above, and those who have yet to receive their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

“In view of multiple factors with regard to vaccination, Mosti will consider fixing appointments of registrants who are currently awaiting their 2nd doses accordingly,” the circular said.

The Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee said it will email or send text messages through SMS to these registrants with any additional information from Mosti regarding vaccine appointments, on top of notifications to be received through the MySejahtera application.

The circular also said Covid-19 vaccination will be free of charge for the lawyers, and the vaccine type to be administered will be subject to what is available at the respective vaccine delivery centres.

It also reminded the lawyers who have registered their interests to ensure that their current address has been entered in MySejahtera, as Mosti would fix vaccine appointments at centres nearest to the address in MySejahtera.

For lawyers who have yet to register their interest, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee urged them to fill up the online form to enable the information to be channelled to Mosti to facilitate the scheduling of future Covid-19 vaccination appointment dates.

“In the meantime, we will endeavour to ensure that no Member and/or Pupil-in-Chambers of the Malaysian Bar is left behind,” the circular said.

While this had started out as the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery Initiative, the Bar Council — which governs the Malaysian Bar — had on June 12 appointed the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee chairman as the National Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery Coordinator.

This meant that the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee’s initiative to secure Covid-19 vaccination priority for lawyers was expanded to cover all members and pupils of the Malaysian Bar, with the requirement that interested lawyers and chambering pupils register in MySejahtera and through the form provided by the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee.

As of February 28, the Malaysian Bar’s statistics shows that it is representing 20,384 lawyers. The Malaysian Bar is a professional body for lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia.

Separately, the Selangor Bar Committee had on June 10 issued a circular to inform lawyers in Selangor that it was aware of the Perak Bar Committee’s efforts in seeking for prioritised Covid-19 vaccination for lawyers in Perak, and that it has taken the same initiative to request for prioritised vaccination for lawyers in Selangor from the Selangor government and the Selangor health department.

On June 16, the Selangor Bar Committee in another circular to members said it had written multiple letters to the Selangor health department and relevant state and federal authorities to seek for prioritised vaccination for lawyers in Selangor, in light of such lawyers actively handling court matters and Selangor having the highest number of positive Covid-19 cases.

The Selangor Bar Committee had also then notified of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee’s coordination of data collection from Malaysian Bar members who wish to seek vaccination appointments, and encouraged Selangor lawyers to register their names in the form.

On June 22, the Selangor Bar Committee chairman Kokila Vaani Vadiveloo in a circular announced the “good news” that the Selangor state health department had agreed to make arrangements through the Selangor Bar to prioritise Covid-19 vaccination for all Selangor Bar members and pupils.

In order to receive prioritisation, lawyers and pupils in Selangor are required to have not already received vaccination appointments via MySejahtera and are required to fill up the Selangor Bar Commitee’s form (https://forms.gle/Pv9NcrP5hZA6jfGe9) by June 25, 4pm in order for the Selangor Bar Committee to submit to the Selangor state health department.

“We hope to be able to fix early dates next week as well as a suitable venue for the vaccination and will update members in due course,” the circular said.

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