Sabah Covid-19 vaccinations among highest nationwide, CM’s aide tells critics

Health workers administer Covid-19 vaccine doses at the Selangor Covid-19 Vaccination Programme at Dewan Seri Siantan in Selayang June 28, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Health workers administer Covid-19 vaccine doses at the Selangor Covid-19 Vaccination Programme at Dewan Seri Siantan in Selayang June 28, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KOTA KINABALU, June 25 — Sabah’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is not as poor as alleged, according to the political secretary to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

Ceasar Mandela Malakun said some people were still misinformed and fell for claims that seemingly exploited the low percentage numbers for political gain.

“Although in Sabah the figure is only 4 per cent, the number of persons is higher as compared to states which have received a higher number of vaccines.

“The state had received more than half a million in distribution of vaccines as of the middle of this month, ranking it among the top five states in the country,” he said in a statement today.

Records from the Health Ministry showed that Sabah has the fourth highest number of people vaccinated so far at 173,701 (4.4 per cent)  after Selangor with 270,221 (4.1 per cent) people,  Sarawak with 227,292 people (8.1 per cent) and Perak with 194,794 people (7.8 per cent).

The north Borneo state is sixth highest in terms of Covid-19 vaccines distributed, after Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Sarawak and Johor.

Federal minister Khairy Jamaluddin who coordinates the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme disclosed yesterday that Sabah received 503,590 doses as of mid-June.

As of yesterday, a total of 2,087,056 Malaysians or 6.4 per cent of those eligible for vaccination, have received their second dose.

Mandela, who is also vice-chief of the Bersatu Youth wing, noted that the federal government has already completed paying for 120 per cent of Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia.

“But as the prime minister had clarified, supplies have yet to arrive because the whole world is in need of the vaccines.

“Except for the vaccine manufacturing countries, supply in Malaysia and other countries in the world remains low because manufacturers are unable to meet the high global demand. The situation has caused supplies to be delivered at a slow pace and in small quantities at a time,” he said.

He added that most nations have had to “beg” from vaccine manufacturing countries and companies.

Malakun said that once supply was more consistent, Sabah would be increasing its inoculation rate to 30,000 doses per day from its current 12,000 doses per day

Sabah is due to receive 729,000 vaccines in July followed by 1.1 million in August which will accelerate the vaccination rate.

On the low registration rate, Malakun said that the state would not rely on the MySejahtera app and would instead set up “walk-in” centres where one could come in and register and get vaccinated on the spot.

The state says it is still on track to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating 2.9 million Sabahans by year end.

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