Send China’s Sinovac to rural Sabah, Bung Moktar tells Putrajaya

A health worker prepares to administer the Sinovac vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a community health centre in Banda Aceh on Feb 6, 2021. — AFP pic
A health worker prepares to administer the Sinovac vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a community health centre in Banda Aceh on Feb 6, 2021. — AFP pic

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KOTA KINABALU, June 17 — Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has again asked the federal government to channel the additional Sinovac vaccines donated by China to the state so it can keep up with the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Sabah Umno chief said the state is behind the rest of the country in the percentage of population vaccinated, especially in its rural areas.

He added that Sinovac is more suitable to be used in rural areas due to easier storage conditions compared to the Pfizer brand.

“We still need more vaccines now that the programme is taking off around the state. We need to be ready so that the supply of vaccines is sufficient for the people, especially those in rural areas who are largely unvaccinated,” he said in a statement today.

His statement comes following Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who said that the Chinese government will contribute 500,000 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines to Malaysia.

Bung said communication issues made it hard to reach Sabahans living in the interior and rural areas, and that they lacked awareness of the importance of getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

He als

o said that the vaccination was the only “exit strategy” out of the current Covid-19 crisis which has severely weakened the country’s economy.

Bung’s remarks appear contrary to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who said yesterday that the state is receiving an adequate supply of vaccines weekly and is on its way to administering 30,000 jabs a day as planned.

It currently administers around 10,000 to 12,000 jabs a day.

Currently, some 3.79 per cent or 111,197 of the state population is fully vaccinated.

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