Sabah extends deadline for workers' vaccination to September 21

Sabah has a 60% target rate among adults

Sabah extends deadline for workers' vaccination to September 21

Sabah extended on Monday the deadline for employees who have yet to get their vaccines, according to COVID-19 spokesman Masidi Manjun. Manjun, who is also the local government and housing minister, said the deadline was moved from September 15 to September 21 to help meet the 60% target vaccination rate of the state.

"Initially, we announced that this would be enforced on Sept. 15. However, as the vaccination rate has only reached 52% of the adult population, the enforcement date has been shifted," said Manjun as quoted by Free Malaysia today.

The mandate and its extension cover workers in all sectors of trade and distribution, restaurants, and supermarkets in Sabah. Manjun cited the delays in the arrival of second vaccine doses, particularly the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Read more: Malaysia to vaccinate workers crossing into Singapore

The extension comes after encouragement from Sandakan Health Clinic Advisory Panel chairman Chan Boon Thian, who said that many employers in Sandakan have yet to get their staff vaccinated because the grace period for the requirement is "too short."

"The grace period for this requirement is too short and leaves many employers in a quandary due to the considerably large number of foreign workers they hired," Chan said in a statement quoted by the New Straits Times.

The state government announced on August 16 vaccination requirements for trade and distribution services. Manjun said the businesses could only operate if their customers and workers had received at least their first vaccine dose.  Malaysia has reported over 1.9 million COVID-19 cases. Sabah, in particular, have seen 1,717 new infections on Sunday. 

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