KOTA KINABALU, Oct 20 — Approximately 60,000 frontliners and 193,953 senior citizens as well as those in the high-risk category in Sabah are eligible for the Covid-19 booster dose under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) from today.

During its launch at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that the booster dose programme will be carried out in two stages for now.

“The first stage is for healthcare and non-healthcare frontliners beginning today until November 20, while the second stage will be for senior citizens aged 60 years and above as well as those with underlying comorbidities beginning November 2,” he said.

“Although receiving the booster dose is a personal choice, it is highly recommended that people take it to get optimum protection from Covid-19,” he said, adding that the shot was also for those found with waning immunity after six months of completing their vaccination.

The booster dose is free under NIP and dispensed voluntarily to recipients who have completed their vaccination or second dose at least six months prior.

Currently, the Health Ministry has decided that the booster dose is only for those who have received the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty.

According to the chief minister, the booster dose will be administered at selected government and private facilities under the supervision of ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Eligible individuals will be notified through the MySejahtera app, while the Vaccine Administration Centre (PPV) will send those without the app an SMS or contact them by phone.

Meanwhile, Hajiji urged the public not to be complacent when it comes to pandemic protocols following the lifting of inter-district and interstate travel as well as the re-opening of several economic sectors in the state.

“We must ensure that we fully comply with the standard operation procedure or SOP.

“We have to protect not only ourselves, but also those around us, particularly our family,” he said.

He also urged those who have yet to be vaccinated to do so by going to the nearest PPV, hospital and clinic or visiting the outreach programme being held near them.

As of October 18, 70.8 per cent of adults aged 18 and above in Sabah have been fully vaccinated, while 319,707 or 73.67 per cent of the 434,000 teenagers above 12 have received one dose of the vaccine.

About 50.31 per cent or 218,367 teenagers (aged 12 and above) in the state have been fully vaccinated as of October 18.

Hajiji said that 2,355,859 million people in Sabah have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 2,140,780 million have completed their vaccination.

The chief minister also led state Cabinet ministers to receive the booster shot, marking the launching of the programme