KOTA KINABALU, July 23 — Sabah will be given priority to receive the single dose CanSino Covid-19 vaccine when Malaysia gets its three million supply next month, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
Hajiji said National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) Khairy Jamaluddin conveyed this to him during a virtual meeting here today.
“We will reserve the first shipment for Sabah and similarly, we will notify and give option to Sabah on Johnson & Johnson (single dose vaccine),” Khairy was quoted saying in the statement by the Sabah chief minister’s office.
The decision came following the state’s call for more vaccine supply to Sabah to speed up the state’s vaccination target of 60 per cent by October and to reach herd immunity by year end.
“It is also crucial that we reach communities in the interior areas and far-flung islands whose mobility are hampered by rough terrain and distance,” Hajiji said.
Hajiji also said that the state has opened up 177 vaccine administration centres (PPV) throughout Sabah, and together with mobile outreach facilities and the Army’s Medic Vaccination programme, are expecting to hit its target by October.
Thanking the federal government for all cooperation extended to Sabah in the vaccination programme, Hajiji welcomed Khairy’s gesture in the midst of vaccine supply constraints.
Sabah has been adding pressure to Putrajaya to boost supply of vaccines to the state as it fell behind others in terms of percentage of population vaccinated.
About 13 per cent of Sabah’s population have been vaccinated. Sabah’s vaccination rate has recently been upped to some 31,375 yesterday, after weeks of averaging between 7,000 and 12,000 jabs a day.
The state has also opened up dining operations and other sectors ahead of other states in the same recovery phase to allow economic activities to recover.
Meanwhile, Sabah Health Director Dr Rose Nani Mudin disclosed that Sabah’s first Integrated vaccine administration centre (PPV Integrasi) will kick off next week at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC).
“PPV Integrasi will roll out free vaccines and allow private hospitals to assist in speeding up the vaccination process, taking the load off from the current overwhelmed public hospitals,” she said.
Also present at the virtual meet were Minister of Housing and Local Government and Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Community Development and People's Wellbeing Shahelmey Yahya and State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Safar Untong.