KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — Daily Covid-19 vaccine jabs declined the past week in Johor, Sabah, and Penang, but increased in the other crisis states of Perak, Kedah, and Kelantan, as the virus overwhelms hospitals in all six states.
On a national scale, Malaysia’s daily coronavirus vaccine doses administered have been declining ever since the start of August that peaked at 543,466 jabs, based on a rolling seven-day average. The national vaccination rate constantly dropped until August 10 with 453,371 doses administered on average, a loss of about 17 per cent compared to August 1.
From August 10 onwards, Malaysia’s daily inoculation rate marginally increased and finally broke through the 500,000 milestone on August 22, but then plummeted to just 350,590 average doses administered on August 31. This marked a 36 per cent decrease from August 1.
As of yesterday, Johor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, and Sabah had the five lowest complete inoculation coverage at less than 40 per cent of their total populations, while Penang has fully vaccinated about 45 per cent of its total population. The national average rate is about 47 per cent, pulled up by just five states or regions: Labuan, Klang Valley, Sarawak, Negeri Sembilan, and Perlis.
Johor’s vaccination rate increased to 69,176 total doses administered on average on August 23 compared to 46,581 average doses given on August 1, but subsequently fell 12 per cent to an average of 60,622 doses administered on August 31.
As of August 31, Johor’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was at 92.58 per cent, while its Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) hit a dangerously high 95.37 per cent capacity.
Sabah, like Johor, showed a promising uptrend early on from August 1, but was unable to sustain the increase in vaccination rates that declined in the later part of the month. On August 1, the state administered an average of 35,461 doses, rising to 54,570 on August 21, before dropping 18 per cent to 44,922 doses on August 31.
As of August 31, Sabah’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was at 81.64 per cent, while its ICU designated for Covid-19 patients was overloaded at 125.17 per cent. The Malay Mail reported today that Sabah hospitals are now prioritising younger patients for scarce ICU beds and ventilators, while some patients are forced to wait in the emergency department for more than five days.
Penang’s vaccination rate increased to 31,438 doses administered on average on August 18, but dropped 22 per cent to 24,568 doses given on August 31, lower than the 26,406 doses given on August 1.
As of August 31, Penang’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was at an overflow of 111.10 per cent and its Covid-19 ICU bed occupancy rate was at 95.65 per cent.
On a positive note, Kedah, Perak, and Kelantan recorded increasing daily vaccination rates over the past week or so.
Daily doses administered in Kedah rose from an average of 25,892 jabs on August 16 to 32,318 doses on August 31, an increase of about 25 per cent. As of end August, Kedah’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was 91.42 per cent, while its Covid-19 ICU was overcapacity at 111.43 per cent.
Average daily doses administered in Perak increased 16 per cent from 26,380 on August 23 to 30,820 on August 31. As of end August, Perak’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was 85.05 per cent and its Covid-19 ICU bed occupancy rate was as high as 120 per cent.
Kelantan’s vaccination rate rose from 13,492 shots-to-the-arm on average on August 15 to 23,553 on August 31, a jump of 75 per cent. As of August 31, Kelantan’s Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy rate was 84.09 per cent, while its Covid-19 ICU beds were nearly full at 94.81 per cent.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced yesterday that Operation Surge Capacity would be launched in Sabah, Johor, Kedah, Penang, and Kelantan to deliver extra supplies of vaccines, medical resources, and testing.