KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor is expected to receive the Covid-19 vaccine after the launching of the Sabah State-Level Covid-19 Vaccination programme on March 4, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in Sabah on February 25.
While he could not confirm whether Hajiji would be the first Sabahan to receive the vaccine, Masidi said the head of the government was usually the first one to be inoculated against the virus among all categories of recipients.
Masidi, who is Sabah’s Covid-19 official spokesperson, said a total of 109 vaccination centres have been identified in Sabah.
He said the number of the vaccination centres would be reviewed from time to time by the Covid-19 Immunization Task Force (CITF) at the district level.
Additionally, he informed that the vaccines would arrive in three batches starting with the first batch on February 25.
He assured that there would be sufficient vaccines for Sabahans when all the batches arrived.
“As we announced earlier, everyone will be given the jab, except for those who have been advised not to or not in the category (of recipients) at this point of time, such as small children and pregnant mothers,” he said at the press conference on Covid-19 developments in Sabah today.
As to whether teachers and students would be given priority in receiving the vaccine, Masidi replied that phase one of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme only included healthcare frontliners in the government and private sectors, as well as essential and security personnel such as the police, Malaysian Armed Forces, Fire and Rescue personnel and immigration.
However, he said the State Government would consider giving teachers with comorbidities and other risk factors the Covid-19 vaccine in the first phase, in line with the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s announcement on February 21.
On the other hand, Masidi said students who are returning to school and hostels on March 1 would not have to undergo swab test as conducting risk assessment would be sufficient prior to entering the school compound.
He added that the Ministry of Education has issued the “School Management and Operations Under the New Norm 2.0” to prevent Covid-19 infections among students and ensure compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in schools and hostels at all times.