KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is intensifying its vaccination drive against Covid-19 as it strives to achieve herd immunity as early as end of this year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said through various strategies and efforts the number of people vaccinated daily is expected to rise to 30,000 beginning next month, compared to about 13,000 presently.
Since the programme was launched on Feb 26 until Jun 13, a total of 249,945 or 8.5 per cent of the targetted 2,932,700 Sabah population has received their first dose of vaccine, he said.
Speaking to reporters after visiting Wisma Wanita here on Tuesday, Hajiji said more vaccines administration centres (PPV) were being opened in order to achieve the herd immunity target.
Meanwhile, Wisma Wanita was one of the 16 new PPV opened this month in addition to 95 currently in operation as the National Covid Immunisation Programme (PICK) is now extended to the 18 and above group.
Currently, 72 of the PPV were using health facilities while 23 in public facilities. The 16 new PPV would be using public facilities.
WIth a capacity of 400 people daily, PPV Wisma Wanita has started its operations on Jun 14 and to cater for the state and federal public service personnel based in Kota Kinabalu as well the surrounding community.
Priority will be given to public service personnel who are constantly on the field and meeting the public such as drivers, despatchers, counter officers and those in the police force, Water Department, Immigration Department, Education Department among others.
There are 20,549 personnel in the state public service while 107,172 are working in the federal public service in Sabah.
Those serving in other districts would receive their vaccines in existing PPV in their respective district.
Hajiji said Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) had also opened up its PPV with the capacity of 1,000 people daily beginning Jun 14 to cater for the university’s lecturers and students as well as nearby residents.
The other PPV that would be opened soon included among others in Manggatal Community Centre, KDCA Hall, Libaran Multi-Purpose Hall and Balung IPG Hall.
He said the State Government also appreciated involvement of the private sector in Sabah’s immunisation programme by allowing their facilities and staff to be utilised for the purpose.
Beginning June, people could also get their jabs at Gleneagles Hospital and Rafflesia Medical Centre as well as 36 other private clinics in the state.
Apart from that, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the Pacific Sutera management has allowed the hotel’s facilities to be used as a PPV.
“The State government also thanked the Federal government for including Sabah in phase four of the Public-Private Partnership COVID-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) that will commence in July,” he said.
According to him, Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) with a capacity to handle 3,500 people daily will be the vaccines administration centre for PIKAS Sabah to innoculate industrial and economic services workers.
The Chief Minister said the State Health Department has initiated the mobile outreach programme involving 26 teams (one for each district in Sabah) since May 18 to ensure those in the interior are not left out in the immunisation drive.
Also helping out were the Malaysian Armed Forces, which were sending its medical team to vaccinate people in remote far-flung areas in Sabah through its Program Jiwa Murni. The programme first location would be Long Pasia on Jun 24.
As of Jun 13, 670,282 people or 22.9 per cent of the targetted populace in Sabah have registered for vaccination.
In order to get more people particularly in the rural areas to register, the the rural community outreach programme spearheaded by the State Information Department together with several federal and state deparments and agencies was carried out and now intensified.
In terms of the vaccines supply, Hajiji said for the month of June, the doses would be arriving weekly as planned.
“Sabah will be receiving more doses by July onwards,” he said, adding that so far the vaccines being used in Sabah were Pfizer, Sinovac and Astra Zaneca.
He said that with all the strategies and efforts that have been carried out such as opening of more PPV, outreach programmes and consistent vaccines supply, the State government was confident that the immunisation programme in Sabah will achieve its herd community goal according schedule.
He also thanked the Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association for assisting in bringing vaccines and medical officers to remote areas in the State.
“We hope to achieve herd immunity in Sabah by end of this year,” he said.
Hajiji reiterated his call to the people not to delay in registering for the vaccination programme.
“Let us work together towards achieving herd immunity and stop the spread of COVID-19. Always adhere to the SOP, practice a healthy livestyle and protect ourself and our family,” he said.-BorneoGazette