Covid-19 vaccine booster shot programme kicks off in Sabah with CM among the first to get jabbed

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor was among the first persons in the state to receive the Covid-19 vaccine booster shot on Wednesday (Oct 20).

The shot was administered as part of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. The booster programme started in Sabah on Wednesday and is expected to go on until Nov 20.

Some 60,000 frontliners, 193,953 senior citizens as well as those in the high-risk group are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine booster shot in the state.

Hajiji said the programme would be carried out in two stages, with the first stage for healthcare and non-healthcare frontliners from now until Nov 20.

The second stage would be for senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as those with underlying comorbidities beginning Nov 2, he said at the launch of the programme at the Sabah International Convention Center here.

The booster dose is free and dispensed to recipients voluntarily after completing their vaccination or those who had their second dose at least six months earlier.

At the moment, the Health Ministry has decided that the booster dose is only for those who have received the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, or Comirnaty.

"Although receiving the booster dose is a choice for individuals, it is highly recommended that they take it to get optimum protection from Covid-19," Hajiji said.

He said the booster dose was also for those found with waning immunity six months after completing their vaccination.

The booster dose would be administered at selected government and private facilities under the supervision of ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Eligible individuals would be notified through their MySejahtera applications, while those without MySejahtera would receive a text message or phone call from their respective vaccine administration centre (PPV).

On another matter, Hajiji urged the people not to throw caution to the wind following the lifting of inter-district and interstate travel as well as the reopening of several economic sectors in Sabah.

"We must ensure that we fully comply with standard operating procedures. We have to protect not only ourselves but also those around us, particularly our families," he said.

Hajiji urged those who have yet to be vaccinated to do so by going to the nearest PPV, hospital or clinic, or visit outreach programmes held near them.

"Please go and get the vaccine. We want to flatten the Covid-19 curve as much as possible," he said.

As of Monday (Oct 18), 70.8% of adults aged 18 years and above in Sabah have been fully inoculated while 319,707 or 73.67% of 434,000 teenagers above 12 have received the first dose of the vaccine.

About 50.31% or 218,367 teenagers (aged 12 and above) in the state have been fully vaccinated as of Monday.

Hajiji said 2,355,859 million people in Sabah have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 2,140,780 million have been fully vaccinated.

Earlier, he also led state Cabinet ministers to receive the booster shots to launch the programme.

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