PICKids: Sabah expands vaccination to primary schools – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 15 — The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids), for children aged five to 11 in Sabah, has been expanded to primary schools, said state Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He said the programme commenced in Tambunan district, involving several primary schools on Feb 12, with 60 children receiving their first dose of the vaccine.

“The state Health Department (JKNS) staff are ready to go into schools to vaccinate children who are eligible in order to get maximum protection.

“The number of children infected with COVID-19 (in Sabah so far) is high. Therefore, I think parents should take the initiative to ensure their kids get vaccinated because, in the end, the decision is in their hands,” he said when met by reporters after the launch of the state-level PICKids at the Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital (HWKKS), which was officiated by Chief Minister, Datuk Hajiji Noor, today.

Meanwhile, state health director, Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin, said that the vaccination programme would be conducted in 1,705 primary schools, in collaboration with the state education department, and discussions on whether it would be conducted in groups or in schools would also be held.

She said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that parents, including in the interior, had the opportunity to bring their children to get the first dose of vaccine so as to increase the vaccination rate among children aged five to 11, as the number was still low.

“Parents have many options, whether to go directly to the vaccination centres (PPVs) provided, or register through MySejahtera or go to the health clinic. So, there is no more reason not to go.

“Now, the decision is in the hands of parents. Adults can go on their own, but children, they have to follow their parents. If parents do not bring them in, the children will not be able to get vaccinated when it is their right,” she said.

To date, a total of 9,686 children, aged five to 11, in Sabah have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since PICKids was started on Feb 3 at five hospitals, namely HWKKS, Duchess of Kent Hospital Sandakan, Keningau Hospital, Lahad Datu Hospital and Tawau Hospital.

The programme has been expanded nationwide with the establishment of 145 PPVs involving 109 health clinics; 22 hospitals; 18 private clinics and four public PPVs, monitored by specialists and medical officers.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency