Covid-19 vaccine: Sabah will not entertain queue jumpers

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

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KOTA KINABALU (March 1): The Sabah Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) will not entertain any party who intends to jump queue to receive vaccine shots through the Covid-19 immunisation programme, said Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

The state Covid-19 spokesperson said that Sabah CITF would ensure vaccine shots would only be provided to the public, after they register through set appointments.

“Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated on Feb 26 that action will be taken against any individual who failed to attend the Covid-19 vaccination appointment without valid reasons,” he said at a daily news conference on Covid-19 here today.

Masidi said the latest research estimated that herd immunity would be achieved when 70% to 90% of residents in the state have been vaccinated.

He added that the Covid-19 immunisation schedule is expected to complete by February 2022, and hopes that the immunisation coverage in Sabah would reach over 95%.

"Achieving herd immunity depends on various factors including virus mutation, social acceptance towards the vaccine, and society’s compliance of the standard operating procedure during the pandemic,” he said.

When asked if Sabah will only use the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for the Covid-19 immunisation programme in the state, Masidi said as of Feb 16, the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee special committee would provide access to five manufacturers, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, CanSinoBIO and Sputnik V.

“For the first phase, Sabah will use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while the vaccine that will be used for the second and third phase has not been decided yet. The distribution of vaccine supply to states throughout Malaysia is the responsibility of the special committee,” he said.

Meanwhile, Masidi said 60 recipients would be inoculated at the launch of the state-level National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme this Thursday (March 4), which will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.

In another development, Masidi said compounds would be issued to employers who failed to conduct Covid-19 screenings for foreign workers under their responsibility and such failures would result in their work permits not being renewed.

He said as of Feb 28, a total of 78,449 out of 116,834 foreign workers underwent the Covid-19 screening tests and the remaining workers would be screened in the next two weeks, adding that appointments have been made with registered clinics.