Women displaying the ‘Saya telah DIVAKSIN’ sign at the Tawau Community Centre.
TAWAU: The Federal Government must ensure Sabah gets an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines when the country receives a new consignment next month as reported, said Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew.
The former Deputy Chief Minister said this is necessary for the government to achieve its target of fully vaccinating 10pc of Malaysia’s population against the deadly virus by mid-July, and for 80pc of Malaysians to have received their vaccinations by the end of the year under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
In the Sabah context, the Chief Minister had expressed confidence that the state can achieve the target of vaccinating 30,000 people daily from next month onwards.
However, Liew noted that the Prime Minister himself had on Tuesday acknowledged the shortage of vaccine supplies, whilecalling on the vaccine manufacturers to provide Malaysia with the supplies faster.
“It would defeat the purpose of getting people to register for vaccination by the thousands, only to make them wait indefinitely for their appointment schedule as had been reported by affected registrants.
“This uncertain situation should not arise if we have a sufficient supply of vaccines at our disposal for us to do the needful towards achieving herd immunity by year’s end as envisioned,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
Citing an example of this scenario, Liew, who is also Api Api Assemblywoman, said as of June 22, the Tawau Parliamentary People’s Service Centre had helped register a total of 3312 people in an effort to speed up the pace of vaccination.
“However, of the figure, only 367 had their first dose of the vaccine this month,” she pointed out, adding this month alone (up to June 22), Tawau recorded more than 20 COVID-19 deaths.
She said the vaccination registration exercise gained momentum when the People’s Service Centre was mobilised to get the public registered with the cooperation of the Tawau Health Office.
To allay the people’s fears, Liew said the Centre had led the way in getting staff and family members vaccinated to show that the vaccines were safe.
“More private companies are now coming forward to get their local and foreign workers registered for vaccination through the People’s Service Centre.
“I understand that the Women Bureau had also worked hard to persuade as many women and members of the public as possible to register for vaccination,” she added.
According to Liew, the Women Bureau has collected about 400 names of men and women alike, and is still going all out to gather estate workers to sign up.
President of the Tawau Municipal Council (MPT), Arnold Joibi, when contacted, confirmed the increase in the number of people registering for the vaccination.
“This shows that intensified efforts by the local elected representatives and people’s development leaders (PPMs) in assisting to encourage the people to register are bearing fruits.
“In this regard, I would like to convey my thanks to them for their tireless effort in raising awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated,” he said.
According to Joibi, the total number of people in Tawau who have completed two doses of vaccination as of June 19, stands at 23,230.