Sabah Gets Smallest Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Per Capita

By CodeBlue |

By July 31, Kelantan and Sabah are scheduled to receive below 50 doses per 100 people, compared to Labuan (237), Sarawak (129), and the Klang Valley (108).

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — There is wide disparity in Covid-19 vaccine supply to states, with Sabah due to receive five times fewer doses than Labuan by month’s end.

According to data from the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) on vaccine distribution to states up to July 31, Sabah will have the lowest number of doses delivered per capita at 47 doses per 100 people, based on total population.

Labuan — which is scheduled to receive the highest number of doses per capita at 237 doses per 100 people, or over two doses per person — would have accrued more than five times Sabah’s supply of 47 doses per 100 people, and over three times the national supply of 77 doses per 100 people. 

This is in line with the federal government’s outbreak containment measures in Labuan, which include a ramped-up vaccination drive to help control the spread of the Delta Covid-19 variant that was ravaging the small island in June.

Sarawak will record the second-highest number of doses received per capita at 129 doses per 100 people by July 31, followed by the Klang Valley at 108 doses per 100 people.

Other states would have received fewer vaccine doses needed to cover their entire total populations with at least one dose, while Kelantan and Sabah would have received just 48 and 47 doses per 100 people by month’s end.

National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told Parliament today that the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) will try to ensure that the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to states is balanced.

He said the distribution of vaccines takes into account the number of vaccines delivered by suppliers, the total population of each state, and the threshold value set under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) that would allow states to move from one phase to the other.

Khairy said the CITF will attempt to minimise the time difference taken for each state to transition between phases under the NRP by balancing the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Some states have requested for the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to be expedited, and as I have stated, in August, we will allow certain states to catch up with those that are ahead in the administration of vaccines.

“However, in the event that movement control phases need to be activated in certain areas, the CITF will need to change the delivery numbers to enable the affected area to be vaccinated immediately,” the vaccine minister told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Sarawak’s inoculation drive has been given priority due to the state’s impending election, Khairy said in May. He then said that Sarawak is required by law to hold its state election within 60 days once the Emergency Ordinance in the country ends on August 1.

The matter, however, was made complicated after Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan on Monday announced that the country’s emergency ordinances had been revoked on July 21.

Meanwhile, the Klang Valley has received more Covid-19 vaccine doses under Operation Surge Capacity to battle the spike in coronavirus deaths and new infections that pushed Klang Valley’s health care system to the brink.

In terms of vaccination rates, Sabah administered the lowest number of vaccine doses per capita at just 28 doses per 100 people based on total population as of July 27, four times fewer than the top territory of Labuan with 116 doses per 100 people. 

Only Labuan and Sarawak administered above 100 doses per 100 people, followed by the Klang Valley with 82 doses per 100 people. Melaka, Perak, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Sabah gave fewer than 50 doses per 100 people. The national rate, as of July 27, was 56 doses administered per 100 people.

As of July 26, the government has received a total of 26,383,670 Covid-19 vaccine doses, comprising the procurement of 23.88 million doses, as well as the following contributions:  998,400 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine from Japan, 1,000,350 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine from the US, and 500,000 Sinovac vaccine doses from China.

Apart from the three countries, Khairy, who is also Rembau MP, said the government is also in discussion with several other countries that have expressed readiness to further contribute to Malaysia’s vaccine supply, such as the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

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