Covid-19: Sarawak relooking at using AstraZeneca vaccine, says Dr Sim

Cargo pallets containing the Pfizer-BionTech Covid-19 vaccine being unloaded from an airplane after it arrived at Kuching International Airport yesterday (May 12, 2021).

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KUCHING, May 13: The Sarawak government will reopen discussions with the federal government over the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines in Sarawak.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the Sarawak Covid-19 Advisory Group (Scovag) will relook at the AstraZeneca Opt-In programme and the Sarawak government’s purchases of Covid-19 vaccines from next month onwards.

He added the State government will work closely with Ministry of Health (MOH) and Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) to speed up and upscale vaccine delivery to Sarawak through the State’s rightful share under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick).

“Looking forward to working closely with KKM (MOH) and CITF to accelerate large numbers increase in vaccines delivery to Sarawak through our rightful share under Pick, Scovag to re-discuss AstraZeneca Opt-In program and Sarawak Government self purchases from next month onwards,” he said in a Facebook post last night.

Pfizer-BionTech Covid-19 vaccines waiting to be loaded into a truck to be sent to a storage centre.

Earlier on April 29, Dr Sim in a Facebook post said Sarawak will not utitlise the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in its vaccination efforts despite it being offered to the State.

He said those who wanted to get the AstraZeneca vaccine can do so at vaccination centres in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and not in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim disclosed that as at May 11, there were 1.12 million Sarawakians who have registered for Covid-19 vaccination.

He hoped that more Sarawakians will register for vaccination as it provides the numbers to negotiate with the federal government to send more Covid-19 vaccines to Sarawak.

With an adequate supply of vaccine, Dr Sim believed that Sarawak has the ability to scale up the inoculation process fast by vaccinating up to 80,000 people per day with MOH and private healthcare facilities.

“We are quietly confident to complete vaccinate (sic) all eligible Sarawakian (sic) by August (unless disruption of vaccines supply),” he added.

In the meantime, Sarawak received its 12th shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine yesterday. — DayakDaily