KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor joined some 42,117 frontliners to be the first inoculated against Covid-19 to mark the start of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in Sabah on Thursday. Hajiji received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before being placed for a 30-minute observation at the Federal Administrative Complex Multi-Purpose Hall near here. 

Also receiving their jabs were 48 frontliners comprising among others State Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi and Sabah Commissioner of Police Datuk Dr Hazani Ghazali as well as several cabinet ministers and government top officers. At the same ceremony, the Chief Minister also officially opened the Federal Administrative Complex Multi-Purpose Hall that has been earmarked as the Vaccine Dispensing Centre (VDC) for Kota Kinabalu. Hajiji said the State Government has set up 195 VDCs throughout Sabah aimed at getting an immunisation coverage of more than 95 per cent and achieve herd immunity. 

The immunisation programme for frontliners comprised medical workers from the Health Ministry as well as non-medical personnel in Thursday was under Phase One of the immunisation programme that would run until April. The second phase beginning April until August will involved senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as those in the high risk group with chronic illnesses. The third phase that involved adults aged 18 and above would commence in May and to go on until February next year. 

Met later, Hajiji said he did not feel any pain after getting vaccine injection. “It is just like a normal injection … I feel fine,” he said. He urged the people not to listen to rumours about the vaccine because the Government has assured it was safe since it has undergone research and analysis before getting approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“Getting the vaccine is voluntary, which is given free to all the people in Malaysian including non-citizens residing in the country. “Immunisation is important for us not just to protect ourselves but also our loved ones, workmates, neighbours and the community as a whole in line with the programme’s slogan ‘Protect Ourselves, Protect All’,” he said. “The immunisation programme is being done in a comprehensive manner to ensure our community reached herd immunity that in turn will break the pandemic infection chain and in the end stop Covid-19 for good.

Hajiji said at the same time the Government called for a campaign on the cultivation of new norms to increase one awareness when blending in with the community to stop the chances of the Covid-19 to spread. Hajiji also reiterated his call for the people in Sabah to register for the Covid-19 immunisation programme through the MySejahtera application.