Malaysia – Due to worries of exposure to Covid-19 with the entry of individuals from the Philippines and Indonesia, Sabahans have been advised to obtain the Covid-19 booster shot as soon as possible before the country’s borders reopen, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He expressed worry since both nations’ immunization rates are still low.
“Because the areas surrounding Sabah are so far from their major cities, we believe the immunization rate in the Southern Philippines and Kalimantan is low.”
“If the border is opened, more (foreign) people will enter; we have procedures in place,” he said after officiating the mass cataract surgery initiative (MCSI). “Vaccination coverage in Sabah is important because the risk of Covid-19 from neighboring countries exists; this is for preparation.”
According to Khairy, roughly 40% of adults in Sabah have gotten booster shots, while about 16% of children aged five to 11 have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, he stated that different measures have been made to guarantee that older individuals aged 60 and up in the nation receive the booster shots, including opportunistic immunisation, in which the elderly who are brought to hospitals are examined and given the Covid-19 vaccine before being released.
Opportunistic immunisation is the practice of verifying everyone’s vaccination status at every opportunity, such as during a hospital stay, and vaccinating as necessary.
He noted that because the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) has been in place for more than a month, parents should no longer wait and watch, and that most children who were vaccinated only suffered minimal adverse effects.
“Parents refused to provide permission even though the program was introduced to schools, and they didn’t show up on the day of vaccination,” he said. “I plead to parents to enable their children to receive the immunization since I see so many children hospitalized to hospitals due to Covid-19,” he added.