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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 21): At least 308,000 teenagers aged 12 to 17 nationwide have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of yesterday, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
He said Sabah topped the list with 118,000 doses, while other states such as Sarawak had administered 88,000 doses, Kedah (19,000), Kelantan (17,000), Johor (16,000) and Labuan (2,500).
“Although the vaccination programme for adolescents only started yesterday, there are other states that have started administering the vaccine much earlier such as Sarawak on Sept 8, Labuan (Sept 11) and Sabah (Sept 19).
“The numbers reflect the eagerness and spirit of teenagers who really want to get inoculated as soon as possible because they understand the importance of the vaccine in the fight against Covid-19,” he said while appearing as a guest on RTM’s "Bicara Naratif" programme tonight.
Dr Noor Azmi said the Health Ministry (MOH) was confident that the country would be able to meet the target of fully vaccinating at least 80% of the total 3.2 million teenagers by the end of the year, or before the 2022 school session begins, at the latest.
“These 3.2 million individuals include non-Malaysians and those who do not attend school. We do not want any of them to be left behind,” he said, adding that the MOH aimed to have 60% of adolescents received at least one dose of the vaccine at the end of November.
Dr Noor Azmi said the vaccination programme would be implemented using various methods, namely, for schools with more than 1,000 students, the vaccine will be administered in school premises on a scheduled basis, starting from 8am to 5pm.
For schools with less than 1,000 students, their students will be inoculated at specified locations, while vaccination appointments for students at daily or full boarding schools will be issued through the MySejahtera application before they return to their respective institutions.
He added that MOH will conduct vaccination outreach programmes for those who are bed-ridden or live in interior areas.
Dr Noor Azmi said the walk-in method, to begin this Thursday, will be implemented according to schedule whereby students will be provided with appointment dates and locations by their schools to avoid congestion at the vaccination centres.