Sabah minister calls for fairer vaccine distribution

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah minister has called for a fairer distribution of vaccines to cater to the people here.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said Sabah had over 2.7 million eligible recipients.

“But the distribution of vaccines to the state does not tally with this number,” he said in a statement.

“The Federal Government should be fairer and more balanced when supplying vaccines to all states,” he added.

Jafry said the vaccination rate in Sabah was way behind other states.

He said this showed the ineffectiveness in the management of vaccine distribution.

“There are still many people in Sabah who have yet to get their vaccine appointments.

“We only have about 13% or 358,592 people who have been vaccinated as at July 17,” he added.

Jafry said to achieve the 40% of the state population target, the Federal Government must send in another 1.48 million doses by mid-August.

“We cannot restart our economy without a scheduled and quick vaccination rate.

“Sabah relies much on the tourism industry, so we cannot do much if at least 60% of the state population has yet to be vaccinated,” he added.

Jafry said domestic tourism could only be reopen this October once herd immunity has been achieved.

He added that with the reopening of domestic tourism and state borders, Sabah could restart its economy in stages and make preparations to welcome international visitors once again.

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