KOTA KINABALU: Priority will be given to Sabah when three million doses of the single-jab CanSino vaccine arrive in Malaysia next month, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
He said the Federal Government will reserve the first shipment for Sabah and will similarly notify and give options to Sabah on the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine as well.
He was quoted as saying this in a press release issued by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor’s office following a virtual meeting with Khairy and other leaders yesterday.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister had apparently given his assurance on this matter in response to Hajiji’s call for more vaccines to be supplied to Sabah to speed up the state’s vaccination target of 60% 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 where mobility is hampered by rough terrain and distance,” Hajiji said.
“We have opened up a total of 177 vaccine administration centres (PPV) throughout the state to date and together with mobile outreach facilities and the Army’s Medic Vaccination programme, we are on track to get more people vaccinated,” he told Khairy.
Thanking the Federal Government for its cooperation in the vaccination programme, Hajiji welcomed Khairy’s gesture in the midst of vaccine supply constraints.
Apart from Hajiji, other leaders including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin had repeatedly called for more vaccines to be supplied to Sabah as the state had among the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
Meanwhile, Sabah Health Director Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the state’s first integrated vaccine administration centre (PPV Integrasi) will begin operations next week at the Sabah International Convention Centre.
PPV Integrasi will roll out free vaccines and allow private hospitals to assist in speeding up the vaccination process.
This will take the load off the currently overwhelmed public hospitals, she added.