KUCHING, Feb 26: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has received his first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at 3.02pm on Chap Goh Meh day today, kicking off the State vaccine rollout against Covid-19 in Sarawak.
The vaccination took place at Petra Jaya Health Clinic and was streamed live on Ukas Facebook and YouTube channels.
Abang Johari was in a jovial mood when receiving the jab on his left arm to signal confidence to Sarawakians that the vaccine was safe and effective.
To ease the atmosphere, he even joked around with healthcare personnel while getting ready for the vaccination upon verification of his personal details in the consent form by a nurse.
“Left (arm), ‘kelak sik dapat’ sign (later cannot sign documents),” he joked after telling the nurse that he will have the shot on his left arm.
Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as well as Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing were there to accompany him.
They were among the first Sarawakians to receive the vaccines today together with frontliners including medical and healthcare workers, army, police, Civil Defence personnel as well as media personnel.
“Now we have agreed for the media as part of the frontliners to be vaccinated (in the first phase),” he added.
Uggah added: “We are working out the list.”
Due to health reasons, Uggah who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, did not take the vaccine shot today.
Awang Tengah, who admitted to be feeling nervous, was second in line to be inoculated.
When it was Dr Sim’s turn, the cardiologist found it amusing to be seated on the chair as a patient to be injected by a nurse.
“First time being the patient, I’ve always ‘cucuk orang lain’ (injected other people),” he said.
Dr Chin, who was the last in line to be inoculated, stayed calm and cool as he has always been even under pressure in dealing with the Covid-19 in Sarawak, as he gave a nod before the nurse inserted the needle into his arm.
All of them later went to a holding room to undergo a 15 to 30 minutes observation after receiving the vaccine shots.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Covid-19 vaccination programme was officially rolled out today (Feb 26) following the arrival of the first consignment of 23,400 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech ultra-cold vaccine in Sarawak at Raya Airways’ Cargo Warehouse in Kuching International Airport here on Feb 24.
The first batch of vaccines has been sorted and shipped out to identified vaccination centres across Sarawak since yesterday (Thursday).
Sarawak will receive about 87,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by this month and March. — DayakDaily