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KOTA KINABALU, Feb 25 ― The first shipment of Covid 19 vaccines arrived in Sabah today on a chartered cargo flight.
State Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the first out of two flights today carried 16,380 doses of the vaccine, and another will reach Sabah at 4.30pm.
“The first batch consists of 104,130 doses that will be sent over the course of a few weeks, starting today,” he said.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be stored at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for now.
Masidi said that 42,117 frontliners have been identified for vaccinations as part of phase one of the immunisation programme.
“This will start with the first three people in Sabah ― the chief minister, Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi and Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali,” he said.
They are expected to be inoculated on March 4.
When asked why Sabah was among the last states to receive the vaccines, Masidi said that the logistical choices made were to ensure efficient distribution and implementation nationwide.
When asked if the state would follow Sarawak in possibly buying vaccines independently to expedite the immunisation of all its four million residents, he said that there was no reason for this when the federal government was already supplying the state.
“The federal government is giving us for free, why should we buy them?” he said.