BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

Software engineer creates site for M’sians to check if their fav F&B’s workers are vaxxed

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As stores reopen and restaurants resume dine-ins, the vaccination status of customers isn’t the only thing to worry about.

There’s also the vaccination status of store employees to consider as it’s currently not mandatory for employees to be vaccinated (partially or fully) in order to work and serve customers.

This uncertainty over a store’s employee vaccination status could make customers hesitant to visit, leading it to lose business.

If a store does disclose this information, it’s usually done on its own social media too, which some may or may not follow. To add, when choosing where to dine-in pre-pandemic, one would usually take a look at a few different spots to see what tickles their fancy.

Doing this now would require you to look through multiple stores’ social media just to find this information, which may be buried under daily posts too.

One answer to overcoming this? A site that aggregates this data for you to view in one place, such as Vaxxed Shops.

For peace of mind

Created by software engineer KH Lim, Vaxxed Shops displays the vaccination status of employees in various stores.

At the moment, there are about 5 pages of store listings available, and the majority of stores appear to be F&Bs located in higher-end areas like Bangsar and Bukit Damansara. All listings are either restaurants or bars.

You can search for a specific store, but at the moment, the search bar is slightly buggy. If you’re searching for a store, simply type in the store’s name or location and wait for the site to load the data.

During my testing, it worked for some names, and didn’t for others. At the same time, pressing “Enter” after typing in the search bar somehow just reloads the entire site, so you’d want to avoid doing that for now.

Editor’s Update: This has since been fixed, and we can confirm that clicking “Enter” now no longer reloads the entire site.

Each store has its name, location, store type, cuisine, and of course, employee vaccination status listed. A store is marked as either “Fully Vaccinated” or “Partially vaccinated”.

Based on the submission form where users can add a store’s data to the site, here’s how those statuses are defined:

  • “Fully Vaccinated”: Each working staff has received 2 doses of AZ, Pfizer, or Sinovac, and 14 days have passed since their second dose.
  • “Partially Vaccinated”: At least more than 50% of the total working staff have received two doses of AZ, Pfizer, or Sinovac, and 14 days have passed since their second dose.

It’s currently unclear if “Partially Vaccinated” would also mean that there are some store employees who have not been vaccinated at all.

This data is sourced from Twitter and from the stores themselves, whether via a submission or from their social media posts.

Transparency benefits all

An immediate concern that came to mind was how accurate this information would be, and whether it could be trusted. No doubt Vaxxed Shop will do what it can to verify this information, but as we’re not sure what the verification process is like yet, it’s hard to say if it’s effective.

There’s also the question of whether or not this may cause issues with the stores as a “Partially Vaccinated” status may be misunderstood by customers, leading them to assume that a store is riskier than the others to visit. The store may then lose potential sales.

Transparency is the best policy in this situation for customers, of course, but a store that didn’t consent to have their employee vaccination status displayed publicly may feel otherwise. For a store that has its employees fully vaccinated though, having this data easily available would be advantageous.

As the site is new, it’s understandable that it’s barely scratched the surface on listing the many F&Bs we have. With crowdsourced information though, Vaxxed Shops should be able to populate its list faster.

Right now, the types of F&Bs listed appear to be popular hangout spots where people would go with friends or family for weekend brunches or dinners. It makes sense, since these brands typically have a stronger social media presence, and are easier to find information on.

But if KH is looking to keep the focus on F&Bs, including data on lower-end F&Bs like neighbourhood restaurants, cafes, kopitiam, and maybe even hawker stalls or centres would be good.

In the long run, it’d also be great to see non-F&B stores listed as well, along with stores outside of the Klang Valley, so that Malaysians in other districts and states can benefit from the site.

Editor’s Note: We’ve reached out to KH to learn more about Vaxxed Shops and will update this article once we get his responses.

  • You can learn more about Vaxxed Shops here.
  • You can read about other vaccination related articles here.

Featured Image Credit: KH Lim, developer of Vaxxed Shops

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