CM: Sarawak likely to get own vaccines to ramp up vaccination efforts

Abang Johari (left) and Uggah fielding questions from reporters.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 19: The Sarawak government is anticipating positive outcome from the Federal government on the State’s intention to purchase own Covid-19 vaccine in order to ramp up vaccination efforts as cases have spiked recently.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the State government is waiting for a conclusive response following the submission of an official letter to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“At the moment, the indication (to purchase vaccines for Sarawak) is quite positive,” he told reporters after receiving his second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine shot at the vaccination centre in Indoor Stadium, Petra Jaya here today.

On whether Sarawak is on schedule with its vaccination, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas stressed that Sarawak has locked its target to complete vaccination by August 2021 but it depends on the supply of vaccine while remained fragile.

“As instructed by Chief Minister, we must complete (the vaccination) by the end of August this year but it depends on the availability of the vaccines,” he explained.

On a question, Uggah said that all Resident Offices have planned out to ensure that every areas including longhouses will be allocated sufficient vaccines which are now being managed and coordinated to be distributed and delivered.

Meanwhile, Sarawak government had sent a letter to Khairy to inform him of Sarawak’s intention to buy vaccines if the supply from the Federal government could not meet the State’s vaccination schedule.

Khairy was reported as saying that the Federal government has no problem with State governments wanting to purchase their own Covid-19 vaccines.

As the State governments can apply with the Ministry to purchase the vaccine, Khairy however said that the issue right now was the lack of supply and access to the vaccines.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has started working with State Vaccination Advisory Group led by Professor Datu Dr Andrew Kiyu of Unimas to look for possible channels to acquire the vaccines and they had been in talks with an expert group in Kuala Lumpur on details and information of the vaccines. — DayakDaily