Sabah receives first shipment of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine

(From left) Lee, Shahelmey and Dr Christina when receiving the vaccine at Mas Kargo today. — Borneo Post Online pic
(From left) Lee, Shahelmey and Dr Christina when receiving the vaccine at Mas Kargo today. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KOTA KINABALU, March 24 —  Sabah has received its first shipment of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine today.

Representing the Sabah Chief Minister to receive the vaccine at Mas Kargo here was Community Development and People’s Wellbeing minister Shahelmey Yahya.

Also present were state Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Lee Chun Khiong.

Speaking to the media later, Shahelmey said the 9,040 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine which arrived today will be sent to a temporary storage centre in the state Capital before being distributed to 26 centres throughout the state.

“Today we witnessed the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac vaccine in Sabah. Overall in Sabah, we have received 60,840 doses of the Pfizer Biotech vaccine,” he said, adding that the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will also be used for the first phase of the vaccination programme involving the frontliners in Sabah.

Meanwhile, when asked about the registration process for the elderly, people with disabilities (PwD), those without MySejahtera and those in the rural areas, Shahelmey said that it is being done by a special committee who are being assisted by district officers and grassroots leaders.

He said the Covid-19 vaccination involving the elderly, PwD and those in the high risk category will be done in Phase 2 and the registration of these people is now being done.

Shahelmey added that so far in Sabah only 286,000 from this group have registered for the vaccination and the Special Committee for the vaccination programme is now the ground to help these people register either manually or through other means.

District Officers and JPKK are also helping out by identifying those who need to be registered, he added.

“Phase 3 will involve those aged 18 and above and we encourage them to register via MySejahtera. It has also been decided that an individual can register for their family members or dependents too through their MySejahtera too.

“We realised that in Sabah there are areas with low internet coverage. Therefore our teams through the Health Department and district office among others have been mobilised to go down to the ground and do the registration manually,” he disclosed.

He pointed out that the awareness campaign on the importance of getting vaccinated is ongoing and is confident that once those who still have doubts see that the frontliners who were vaccinated have no adverse side effects, they will sign up to get it.

“The campaign will be continued to encourage all those in Sabah to get vaccinated so that we can achieve herd immunity which is about 80 per cent of the population so that we can stop the spread of Covid-19,” he said. — Borneo Post Online

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