Kota Kinabalu MP Concerned Over Sabah’s Low Vaccine Uptake Rate

As of March 15, only 8.2 per cent of Sabahans have registered themselves to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Sabah’s 8.2 per cent Covid-19 vaccine registration is the lowest in the country, Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin said in a statement today. 

The DAP lawmaker, in a statement after receiving his vaccine, pointed out that he was concerned and worried about the low vaccine uptake rate in Sabah. 

“According to Jawatankuasa Khas Jaminan Akses Bekalan Vaksin Covid-19 (JKJAV), only 8.2 per cent of Sabahans have registered for the vaccine as at 15th March 2021, 12am,” Chan said. 

“In Putrajaya, 69.5 per cent of the people had registered for the vaccine. Even in Sarawak, 21.2 per cent of the population has registered. Sabah’s 8.2 per cent is the lowest in the country, even lower than Kelantan at 11.8 per cent which I find very concerning.”

Chan questioned if this low uptake is due to the lack of awareness, or technology barriers in which interior folks do not have access to the internet. 

“Or is it due to lack of manpower to assist in registration? I don’t think it is due to any anti-vaccine movement, and therefore the authorities ought to do something serious about it and start going down to the ground and register these people,” Chan added. 

In a simple survey conducted by CodeBlue recently, out of five elderly men and women, only one person has registered for the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Moreover, Chan also said that DAP Sabah elected representatives have been setting up booths to assist the government in encouraging people to register themselves for the vaccine. 

“In this regard, the DAP supports the government’s initiative in registering as many people as possible for the vaccine. I hope that this GRS (Gabungan Rakyat Sabah) state government can acknowledge that we in the opposition can assist too and come out with a ‘whole of society’ approach in dealing with the low vaccine uptake rate in Sabah by allowing us to help officially.”

Chan pointed out that despite Sarawak having a larger land size and smaller population than Sabah, it has still managed to inoculate more people. As of March 15, 32,028 Sarawakians have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, compared to only 30,433 Sabahans. 

Besides that, Chan said that he had previously suggested to the Dewan Rakyat that Sabahans should be given the priority for Covid-19 vaccination, since Sabah was the epicentre for the third wave of Covid-19 in Malaysia. 

“Even though Sabah has recorded 29 cases yesterday (15 March), the lowest since September, it doesn’t mean that we should feel complacent with the current situation. It is always better to prevent than to cure,” the DAP lawmaker said. 

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