SEMPORNA, Aug 4 — A total of 30,000 doses of the CanSino single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled to arrive in the district next week to facilitate the vaccination process for those living on several islands there, said Semporna district health officer Dr Shameer Khan Sulaiman.
He said the vaccination of residents in several areas in the district using two-dose vaccines such as Pfzier and Sinovac had previously been plagued by logistical and communication problems as the trip to some islands such as Pulau Denawan takes two hours by boat.
Therefore, he said the use of the single-dose vaccine would make it more convenient for both healthcare workers and islanders.
“The welfare of the healthcare workers involved is also protected (as they do not have to travel back and forth to administer the vaccine) because after the vaccination process, they will also need to continue working to register the vaccination data obtained,” he told Bernama.
Dr Shameer Khan, however, said the single-dose vaccine would only be used for island residents, while the two-dose vaccine would continue to be given to the people at the mainland.
He also said that the district health office would apply for additional doses of the CanSino vaccine, if needed.
Meanwhile, he said more than 8,000 out of the 16,000 residents eligible for vaccination in the Sulabayan state constituency, covering 29 populated islands here, had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, as of yesterday.
Dr Shameer Khan said the trial for the walk-in vaccination programme at the vaccination centre (PPV) at Dewan Masyarakat Semporna for the first 1,000 individuals would begin tomorrow (Thursday).
“Through the programme, 500 individuals will be vaccinated in the morning and the rest in the evening, while those who are unable to obtain a queue number can come the next day.
“The walk-in vaccination programme is open to residents of the district aged 18 and above. It is held as one of the efforts to speed up the vaccination process in Semporna,” he said adding that 100 queue numbers have been allocated for senior citizens.