Sabah struggles with slow COVID-19 vaccine registration due to lack of awareness, internet coverage

Sabah continues to grapple with slow registration and awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine as health officers are going down to the ground to get more people to register.

Community Development and People’s Wellbeing minister Shahelmey Yahya said that so far, only 286,000 from the elderly and high-risk group have registered for the vaccination, with the Special Committee for the vaccination programme now on the ground to register those in rural areas manually.

Only 9.89% of Sabah’s targetted population have registered

“We realised that in Sabah there are areas with low internet coverage. Therefore our teams through the Health Department and district office among others have been mobilised to go down to the ground and do the registration manually,” he said.

To ease the process, it has been decided that an individual can register for their family members or dependents through their MySejahtera app too.

He said this after witnessing the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac vaccines in Sabah earlier today.

Sabah has so far received 60,840 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and 9,040 doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

1,525 people in Sabah have completed their vaccination

Shahelmy said that he hoped the ongoing awareness campaign will erase doubts over the vaccine, once frontliners who have been vaccinated show no adverse side effects, which will in turn increase the uptake of registration.

He also advised people not to be choosy about the COVID-19 vaccine brands as all brands have been tested and approved by the health authorities.

“Don’t be too particular on what brand you get because both vaccines have been tested and proven effective.

SEE ALSO:  Uber now lets people book COVID-19 vaccine appointments and a ride to the vaccination centre

“We must focus on getting vaccinated so that we can have self immunity against the COVID-19 virus, so just focus on getting vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said more than 300 registered media practitioners in Sabah can expect to receive their COVID-19 vaccine jabs by April.

He said the state has decided that the media group will be included in Phase 1 of the state’s immunisation programme for frontliners. — Malay Mail

Related reading