SEMPORNA, Sept 3 — Sabah has so far received 26,000 single-dose CanSino vaccine doses from out of 180,000 destined for the state which will be administered to islanders in Semporna, said state health director Dr Rose Nani Mudin.
She said the immunisation programme using CanSino vaccine in Semporna which began today at Pulau Mabul would be held for two days, targeting 2,000 residents there, and the number would be increased from time to time as needed.
“We use CanSino in hard to-reach-areas and for hard-to-reach people, which helps us save time and overcomes the constraints we face, namely the shortage of medical personnel,” she told reporters after observing the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) at Pulau Mabul here today.
Meanwhile, Semporna district health officer Dr Shameer Khan Sulaiman said they were targeting to vaccinate between 40,000 and 50,000 islanders with the CanSino vaccine.
“For a start, we are targeting to vaccinated 20,000 residents within a month,” he said, adding that so far, almost 60,000 from 120,000 residents in the district have been vaccinated.
After Pulau Mabul, the immunisation programme will be implemented in Pulau Larapan and Pulau Denawan as well as 23 other islands in Semporna, with the assistance of the district office, security teams and volunteers.
PICK advisor Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood meanwhile wanted the vaccination rate in Sabah to be increased with the assistance of government and private agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations, especially where logistics are concerned.
She also praised the organised implementation of the programme in Pulau Mabul, which was held at a tourist resort there and received encouraging response from the residents.
One of the vaccine recipients Nuridja Angga, 55, said she had not gone to Semporna town for quite some time as she was worried that she would be infected but did so today to get vaccinated.
“The fear of the disease is still there but the village chief had told me that the severity will be lessened with the vaccine, so that’s why I decided to take the vaccine shot,” she said.
Maimuna Jumadil, 79, was thankful to be vaccinated today after learning about it from her village head, adding that she was taking it for the sake of her health and safety. — Bernama