Covid-19: Fake news, rumours, making people skip vaccine appointments, says Ongkili

Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili. - Filepic/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Misleading information and fake news on the Covid-19 vaccine are making people skip their inoculation appointments, resulting in wasted supplies and other effects, says Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) said this must stop where people should not believe unverified information and get vaccinated as scheduled.

“Many people are worried and are afraid of the Covid-19 vaccine due to rumours and incorrect information spread by irresponsible people.

"Such moves would hamper the national effort to ensure Malaysians are fully vaccinated by year-end,” said the Kota Marudu MP.

“People skip their appointments as they believe all this misleading information. Vaccines had to be returned and efforts to get Malaysians fully vaccinated are hampered,” Ongkili said after inspecting a Vaccination Outreach Programme in Kota Marudu on Friday (Aug 6).

For Kota Marudu, he said while supplies of vaccines are still low, he believes the numbers will increase within this month.

“We have been highlighting this issue (lack of vaccine supplies) to the relevant authorities, and our plights are heard,” he said.

“We hope supplies will increase by this month,” Ongkili said, adding that the matter is not just restricted to Kota Marudu alone, but other districts as well.

He hopes that with the additional supplies, cancellation or postponement of vaccine appointments will no longer happen.

On the outreach programme, he said a total of 692 recipients received their first dose in two days, adding that the response was positive.

Ongkili said to date, a total of 17,557 people in Kota Marudu have received the first dose, and another 7,156 have completed both doses, while in Matunggong, of some 10,000 eligible recipients, a total of 7,708 have received their first dose while 1,059 have completed both doses.

He called on government and non-governmental agencies to play their role and provide information on the benefits of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“The younger generation, who are more exposed to this information, should also advise their family and friends to not be afraid of the Covid-19 vaccine. We need to first protect ourselves in order to protect others,” he said.

Meanwhile at the event, Ongkili also presented several Jalur Gemilang flags to the Village Development and Security Committee members within the Marak-Parak area in conjunction with the national month.

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