Single Dose The Way To Go For Sabah’s Rural Folk – Noor...

Single Dose The Way To Go For Sabah’s Rural Folk – Noor Hisyam

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TUARAN, SABAH – The Health Ministry (KKM) aims to immunize rural area folks living here in one go with single dose vaccines.

Seeing the low rate of vaccination registrants in the state – less than 355,000 (about 10 percent of the 3.9 million Sabah population) – Malaysian Health Director-General Tan Sri Noor Hisyam said the approach is best taken in cooperation with uniformed services.

“Preferably when we move out to vaccinate it would be a jab-and-go. This is how we are looking at it logistically.”

Currently the only TWO (2) vaccines with this effect is the CanSinoBIO and the Johnson & Johnson’s which is still under procurement.

Malaysia has only three vaccines in its arsenal, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac, where all have been given conditional registration by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“Pharmaniaga is in the process of fill and finish for Sinovac but is still pending approval from the NPRA due to stability issues…

“We are also awaiting dossiers for CanSino and AstraZeneca. The NPRA will conduct reviews from time to time,” he told a press conference during a formal visit to Hospital Tuaran here today.

Despite reported blood clots as side effect from AstraZeneca, Hisyam said the benefits outweigh the risks since said incidents are rare.

The country has deferred administration of AstraZeneca until acquiring conclusive clinical studies.

“Nonetheless we must be very careful of its usage but there is no reason why we should stop it.”

Hisyam’s working visit was to ensure the eight hospitals here selected as vaccination centers are primed for the task.

He said Hospital Tuaran has been chosen to be specialized in catering to dialysis and non-infectious diseases patients (high risk).

Meanwhile he exemplified Sabah for flattening the infection curve bringing the daily rates down from four to two digits in just six weeks with strict adherence to protocol.

“The crafted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a proven method even before the vaccine’s availability. The vaccine is the world’s ray of hope for a return to normalcy…

“But until we reach 70 to 80 percent of an immunized community only then we can relax the regulations,” he said.

Hisyam reminded those who have been vaccinated to continue to observe the SOP as vaccines only provide “internal protection” against COVID-19.