Sabah gets its first batch of vaccines

It’s here: A special aircraft carrying the first batch of vaccines to Sabah landed safely at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Flight TH314, operated by Raya Airways, was flown by Captain Muhamad Noazli Muhamad Najib and assisted by First Officer Ravindran Santhanam. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will receive 104,110 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in six batches.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who was on hand to receive the first batch of 16,380 doses at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), said the rest would be sent in phases by April 1.

“The second batch will arrive on March 4 (9,360 doses), the third batch on March 11 (24,550), the fourth batch on March 18 (3,510) and the fifth batch on March 25 (18,720).

“The last one will be on April 1 (31,590 doses). Deliveries will continue after that until we have a sufficient supply of vaccines, ” he said when met at the airport yesterday.

The first batch of the vaccines was delivered via a Raya Airways flight, which arrived at 12.40pm after taking off from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

Also present were state Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Shahelmey Yahya and Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.

Masidi said for the launch of the state vaccination programme on March 4, three people would be the first to receive the doses: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor as the head of the state government, Rundi as the chief of the state’s frontliners, and state police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali.

“So, we take care of the safety of the ‘generals’ first before proceeding with the rest.

“There will be other groups given the jab after that on the same day, ” he said, adding that the state Health Department would decide on the distribution of vaccines to frontliners.

He said an estimated 42,117 frontliners in Sabah – in both the Health Ministry and other private healthcare practitioners – would receive vaccinations under Phase One.

Masidi had previously announced that more than three million people in Sabah were targeted to be vaccinated under the programme until next year.

Asked why Sabah was among the last states to roll out the immunisation programme, he said there were logistics issues to look into as well as to “ensure its efficient distribution and implementation”.

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