Sabah govt to close Covid-19 vaccination centres to focus on rural outreach measures

Masidi said the state is shifting its focus on outreach measures so that those living in rural areas which are hard to access can receive the vaccines. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Masidi said the state is shifting its focus on outreach measures so that those living in rural areas which are hard to access can receive the vaccines. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 29 — The Sabah government is working on ways to get the Covid-19 vaccine to people living in far flung areas instead of waiting for them to go to the vaccination centres (PPVs) that have been specially set up for that purpose.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Masidi Manjun said that many of these PPVs were not running at capacity. As such, the government will be shutting down operations and redeploying the manpower where they will be more useful.

“We have a lot of PPVs: Since we have inoculated most of the community, the use of Human Resources is less optimised, so it's better to use them for outreach.

“It’s more of a redistribution of Human Resources,” the local government and housing minister told reporters at the state government celebration to mark its first year anniversary in office here today.

However, Masidi did not elaborate on which PPVs will be closed, the number of centres and staff involved, or even provide a clear date for when they would be closed.

He only said the state is shifting its focus on outreach measures so that those living in rural areas which are hard to access can receive the vaccines.

Sabah has been lagging behind other states in the Covid-19 vaccination rate for its adult population.

The state government said 63.5 per cent of the adults in Sabah have been vaccinated though Putrajaya has given a more conservative figure of 59.5 per cent.

Masidi played down the disparity between the figures, saying the state numbers are more up-to-date compared to the federal government.

“We are more updated. It takes some time for them to collect but it’s right under our nose.

“We are very sure because we are managing our data,” he said.

Sabah’s vaccination rate has come under public scrutiny after the state announced a zoning system that allows movement between districts once the state reaches 60 per cent vaccination of its adult population.

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