KUALA LUMPUR, August 20 — Covid-19 vaccination rates have increased substantially in Johor, Sabah, and Penang, which have been struggling with a surge of infections, overwhelming hospitals amid poor vaccine coverage.
As of August 18, Penang has fully vaccinated 40.5 per cent of its adult population, Johor (32.1 per cent), and Sabah (25.8 per cent). Penang and Johor have exceeded their Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, while Sabah is currently at 92 per cent capacity.
In Johor, the number of vaccine doses administered rose 39 per cent to 475,233 doses in the past week of August 12-18 from 341,907 doses in the week of July 29 to August 4.
Sabah’s rate of vaccination showed a 31 per cent increase from 277,015 to 363,146 shots to the arm across the three weeks.
In Penang, the rate of vaccination increased gradually from 181,010 total doses administered in the week of July 29 to August 4, to 219,891 doses administered in the past week of August 12 to 18, showing an increase of about 22 per cent.
Another three states that consultant paediatrician Dr Amar-Singh HSS has dubbed as “crisis” states — Kedah, Kelantan, and Perak — showed little increase in vaccination rates. Those states have double-jabbed less than 40 per cent of their adult populations as of August 18, even as Kedah and Perak have exceeded Covid-19 ICU bed occupancy, while Kelantan is at 87.5 per cent capacity.
In Kedah, the rate of coronavirus vaccination increased just 6 per cent from 176,881 doses administered in the July 29-August 4 week, to 187,529 doses in the past week of August 12-18.
Kelantan’s weekly doses administered declined from 148,025 doses in the week of July 29-August 4 to 113,707 doses the next week, before rising slightly to 128,273 the past week.
In Perak, the number of doses given per week held steadily at over 200,000 for the past three weeks.
Vaccination Rates Fall In High-Coverage States
In contrast, states with high complete vaccine coverage exceeding half of their adult populations — Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak, Labuan, Perlis, and the Klang Valley — are experiencing a fall in vaccination rates.
While the Klang Valley region is still at full capacity of Covid-19 ICU beds, Perlis’ Covid-19 ICU was at about 82 per cent occupancy and Negeri Sembilan at 71 per cent as of August 18. Sarawak has reached just 30 per cent occupancy, while Labuan has no Covid-19 cases in ICU.
In Negeri Sembilan — which achieved 67.6 per cent adult complete vaccination as of August 18, the rate of vaccination decreased from 176,609 doses administered in the July 29-August 4 week to 136,652 doses the past week of August 12-18, marking a 22.6 per cent decrease across the past three weeks.
Sarawak, which has fully vaccinated 82.5 per cent of its adult population, weekly doses administered declined from 217,302 to 108,668 doses in that period, a 50 per cent decrease.
The federal territory of Labuan, which has double-jabbed 90 per cent of adult residents, experienced a vaccination rate decline of nearly 50 per cent across the past three weeks.
In Perlis, with about 58 per cent of its adult population fully vaccinated, its vaccination rate fluctuated between 17,245 and 23,361 weekly doses administered in the past three weeks.
The Klang Valley, which has fully vaccinated about 74 per cent of its adult population, the rate of vaccination decreased 21 per cent from 1,477,304 doses administered in the week of July 29-August 4 to 1,162,899 doses in the past week of August 12-18.
Melaka’s Covid-19 vaccination rate increased from 93,406 to 100,641 weekly doses administered across the past three weeks.
Terengganu saw a whopping 44.5 per cent increase in vaccination rates, from 102,217 doses administered in the July 29-August 4 week to 147,749 doses in the past week of August 12-18.
Pahang, which has fully vaccinated 36.8 per cent of its adult population, saw their vaccination rates decrease slightly from 154,896 doses administered in the week of July 29-August 4 to 144,880 doses in the week of August 12-18.
All in all, the overall total vaccination rate for the country had a 5.47 per cent decrease in weekly doses administered throughout the past three weeks, dropping slightly from 3,582,725 doses in the week of July 29-August 4 to 3,406,537 doses in the past week of August 12-18.