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Sabah govt departments, community leaders reach out to the public for vaccination

KOTA KINABALU: The authorities are going all-out to encourage the public to register for their Covid-19 vaccination.

Kota Kinabalu Information Department officer Hasmawati Karodda said the department with the district Health Office and community leaders have been reaching out to the public since March 19.

"There are many people who have yet to register as they are unsure about the process and the importance of the vaccination.

"Apart from educating the public about the vaccines, we also open booths to help them register their details such as their MyKad and contact numbers," she told the New Straits Times at their programme at the wet market here.

Hasmawati added that manually registered data would be handed over to the Health district offices for further action.

As of March 17, only 268,000 people or nine per cent of those in Sabah registered for the Covid-19 vaccination via the MySejahtera application, which is among the lowest compared with other states.

District Health Promotion officer Marcus Sambag said even after almost a year, he found there were still many people in the city that have yet to install the My Sejahtera application.

"People still prefer filling up their details manually on the books rather than using the application, thus it makes it difficult to get a high number of registrants for the vaccination.

"Another challenge was people easily believe negative news about the vaccination and thus are doubtful with the programme," he added.

Jimal Yakkob, a 32-year-old trader at the market, said he was unaware of having to register via the MySejahtera application to get the vaccines.

"I have the application but did not know that I should register through it for the vaccine until the officer taught me to do so.

"I am looking forward to being vaccinated as I was told that travelling will be more convenient after I receive the jabs," he said, adding his family members are mostly in West Malaysia.

Meanwhile, at the MASKargo Kota Kinabalu International Airport here, Sabah Community Development and People's Wellbeing minister Shahelmy Yahya received the first batch of 9,040-dose Sinovac vaccines.

"The vaccines will be kept at the vaccination storage area in Kota Kinabalu before being distributed to 26 distributions centres throughout the state.

"To date, we have received 60,840 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for the first phase."

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