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By Karen Bong
SIMANGGANG, Sept 11: A total of 7,041 teenagers aged 16 to 17-years-old in six divisions in Sarawak have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far since the teen vaccination drive was launched on Sept 8.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the population of 12 to 17-years-old in Sarawak is 289,200 which make up 10.3 per cent of the entire population of Sarawak.
“Of the figure, 96,400 or 3.4 per cent are 16 to 17-years old, while 192,800 or 6.9 per cent are aged 12 to 15 years.
“Sarawak is the first State in Malaysia that has started the vaccination for teenagers especially school-going students in stages beginning on Sept 8.
“The vaccination programme started with 16 to 17-year-olds and hopefully, they will be fully vaccinated with two-doses before schools reopen on Oct 3,” he told a press conference after a visit to the Civic Centre vaccination centre (PPV) and Sri Aman waterfront today.
He added that vaccination will continue for the 12 to 15-year-old group as Sarawak is hoping to complete the vaccination for all teens and adolescents by Oct 26.
In Sri Aman, Abang Johari revealed that there are seven schools with a total of 2,179 students aged 16 to 17, out of which 1,482 have already been inoculated as of yesterday.
The students are from SMK Engkilili, SMK Lubok Antu, SMK Melugu, SMK St Luke, among others.
For students with health conditions, they will be inoculated at the health clinic and hospital after being assessed by doctors.
School-leavers, teenagers who are no longer schooling and those still in their hometown who have not returned to their campus will also be vaccinated at the health clinic.
“I believe that the vaccine will protect our children from Covid-19 as they prepare to go back to schools for face-to-face learning.
“Hopefully by the end of the year, we can complete all vaccinations and create herd immunity in Sarawak,” Abang Johari added.
He thanked all the frontliners for their dedication and hard work in ensuring the smooth running of vaccination programmes for teenagers in all six divisions of Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu and Bintulu.
Sarawak is among the top states in the country that has achieved a high vaccination rate with 89.2 per cent of the adult population already fully vaccinated. However, this only accounted for 65.2 per cent of the whole population.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Health director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed were among those present. –– DayakDaily