Call for parents, guardians to register children aged 5-12 below for vaccination

KOTA KINABALU: Some 32,186 children aged between five and below 12 years old have registered through the MySejahtera application for the COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) as at February 13, 2022 in Sabah.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, however, said this number was still low as it represents less than 10 per cent of the eligible 411,400 children in the target group in the state.
“The number that has registered so far is still low. I advise parents and guardians with children aged between five and 12 years below to take the opportunity to register them for vaccination under PICKids,” he said.
As of February 14, 9,686 or about seven per cent of those who have registered have received their first dose since PICKids started in Sabah on Feb 3, he said at the launching of the state-level PICKids at the Hospital Wanita dan Kanak Kanak Sabah (HWKKS) in Likas near here on Tuesday.
Hajiji said the programme started on February 3 in five tertiary hospitals namely HWKKS, Duchess of Kent Hospital Sandakan, Keningau Hospital, Lahad Datu Hospital and Tawau Hospital.
The programme has since been extended throughout the state with the setting up of 145 vaccine administering centres (PPV) involving 109 Health Clinics, 22 hospitals, 18 private clinics and four public PPV, which is monitored by specialists and medical officers.
“Extending the vaccination programme to cover children, particularly those aged between five and below 12 years old is part of the government’s efforts to protect them from COVID-19 infection,” he said.
More than 500 unvaccinated children aged below 11 years old were among the 3,891 new COVID-19 cases detected in Sabah on Sunday.
The Chief Minister said the Health Ministry is using the Comirnaty 10mcg Concentrate for Dispersion from PfizerBioNTech vaccine formulated especially for children and has been approved by the Malaysia Drug Control Authority under the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“It has been approved for safe usage and has the efficacy to protect children from severe COVID-19 infection,” he said.
Hajiji said the children vaccination programme require two doses of the vaccine to be administered eight weeks apart.
“Based on the latest data, an interval of eight weeks between the two doses gives a higher immunity and efficacy rate with the potential of providing longer protection,” he said.
Similar to the programme for adults, vaccines under PICKids are free for those residing in Sabah regardless of citizenship status.
Getting vaccinated is voluntary and parents or guardians need to sign a written consent letter before their children qualify for the COVID-19 vaccination, he said.
He said the appointment system created within the MySejahtera application provides freedom for parents and guardians to choose the most convenient date and time as well as the PPV they want to bring their children to for vaccination.
He said they could also bring their children to be vaccinated at the nearest PPV walk- ins..
The vaccination process for school children had begun on Feb 12 at the school PPV, while the State Health Department had collaborated with the State Education Department, Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jaheins) and Jakim to conduct outreach vaccination programmes in schools under its respective purview, he disclosed.
“The official launching of the Sabah PICKids today showed the State Government’s commitment and sincerity to ensure children aged between five and below 12 years old in Sabah receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.


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