On-the-spot jabs being done at public, residential areas in Sabah, says state health director

Sabah Health Director Dr Rose Nani Mudin - Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Local authorities and health officials in the state are conducting on-the-spot vaccinations for individuals who have yet to get their Covid-19 jabs.

Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said this approach, known as the Rapid Assessment and Vaccination Operation (Ravo), is one of the department’s latest strategies to get as many people vaccinated.

She said this operation includes districts with low inoculation rates like Papar, Sandakan, Tawau, Kinabatangan, Tongod, Nabawan, Keningau, Lahad Datu and Kota Belud.

“The first district we visited for this programme is Sandakan, where it was organised from Oct 7 to 11,” she said.

Dr Rose said under this programme, officials will be going around public and even residential areas to check on who had yet to be immunised against Covid-19.

“For example, we will visit towns, shops, market areas, supermarkets and water villages, among other places. Anyone we find unvaccinated will be given their jab then and there,” she said.

The details of those vaccinated through Ravo have yet to be compiled.

Dr Rose said their next stop will be Tawau where they hope to get as many vaccinated against the respiratory virus as possible.

Apart from conducting vaccination on the spot, those involved in Ravo will gather the latest information on the population census at the districts they visit.

This is so that the numbers and statistics on the inoculated and vice versa will be more accurate, she said.

Sabah recorded only slightly over 65% of vaccinated adults as of Oct 10.

Earlier, Dr Rose explained that the low vaccination rate in Sabah was due to several reasons including geographical factors, where many live in the interior and hard to reach areas.

Outreach programmes take longer to complete, while inaccurate population census information due to migration and other reasons also contributed, she said.

Anti-vaccine content and activities are also hindering the smooth implementation of vaccination, she added.

“We also cannot forget the fact that there might be non-citizens, especially the undocumented, who are afraid to come for vaccination as they do not want to face legal repercussions,” Dr Rose said.

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