KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s lower vaccination rate compared to the rest of Malaysia is due to sufficient vaccine supplies only reaching the state in July, says Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic).

The Sabah Covid-19 spokesperson said this in response to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin commenting that Sabah might be the only state in the country to not reach the 80% fully vaccinated adult population by this month.

“The only reason why we have not achieved 80% as yet is due to the well-publicised fact that Sabah only received sufficient supplies of vaccines in July when nearly all other states had vaccinated over 30-40% of their adult population.

“At present, not many are going to the vaccination centres (PPV) located in urban areas because we believe practically everyone living within the town areas has been inoculated.

“So we are now doing mostly outreach programmes to inoculate the remaining population living in the rural villages, islands and such,” he said on Friday (Oct 8).

Khairy and Sabah’s Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, who was also the state immunisation programme operations director, had both mentioned intensifying efforts for the mobile outreach programme to reach the unvaccinated.

Masidi on Thursday (Oct 7), also said that Sabah might not follow suit when interstate travel was allowed after 90% of the country’s adult population had been inoculated, as the state’s rate was still below 70%.

He said until Sabah reached a better vaccination rate, the state would set its own rules for interstate travel.

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