KOTA KINABALU: Some 60,000 front liners and 193,953 senior citizens as well as those in the high-risk group are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine booster dose under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) in Sabah beginning today.

Launching the booster dose programme at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said it would be carried out in two stages.

The first stage was for healthcare and non-healthcare front liners beginning today (October 20) until Nov 20, while the second stage would be for senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as those with underlying comorbidity beginning Nov 2, he said.

The booster dose is free under PICK and dispensed to the recipients voluntarily after completing vaccination or second dose at least six months prior.

At the moment, the Health Ministry has decided that the booster dose is only for those who have received the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty.

“Although receiving the booster dose is a choice for individuals, it is highly recommended that they take it to get optimum protection from Covid-19,” he said, adding that the booster dose was also for those found with waning immunity after six months of completing their vaccination.

According to the Chief Minister, the booster dose would be administered at selected government and private facilities under the supervision of ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Eligible individuals would be notified through the MySejahtera applications, while the Vaccine Administration Centre (PPV) would be making the announcement via short messaging messages (SMS) or phone calls for those without the applications.

On another note, Hajiji urged the people not to throw caution to the wind following the lifting of the interdistrict and interstate travel as well as re-opening of several economic sectors in the state.