Dr Sim: 1 million people in Sarawak have not registered for Covid-19 vaccination

File photo depicting a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine being prepared. Photo source: Flickr, Creative Commons License

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: About one million people in Sarawak have not registered for the Covid-19 vaccination, a situation that highlights how supply may surpass demand and how Sarawak may not be able to meet its target of vaccinating 2.2 million or 70 per cent of its population by August.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian revealed that only 55 per cent or an estimated 1.2 million Sarawakians have registered for the Covid-19 vaccination since the launch of the State Covid-19 Vaccination Programme on Feb 26.

“Current registration probably at best 1.2 million Sarawakians registered (55 per cent) – 868,000 Sarawakians (registered via MySejahtera) and another 250,000-300,000 (after data cleaning for duplication) via manual registration,” he said in a Facebook post that carried the hashtag #VaccineHesitancy yesterday.

At this rate, Dr Sim expressed deep concerns that by July, Sarawak may have sufficient supply of vaccines but not enough Sarawakian recipients.

Even though Sarawak has hit the halfway mark, he remained optimistic that Sarawak should be on track to complete the vaccination for eligible and registered Sarawakians by August.

“Sarawak is ready to scale up (vaccination) of up to 50,000 jabs per day from both public and private healthcare facilities,” he added.

According to the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV), a total of 51,931 Sarawakians have completed the two-doses of the vaccine and 83,588 have received the first dose of the vaccine as of April 25.

Meanwhile, another scheduled consignment of Sinovac vaccine arrived in Kuching at Kuching International Airport (KIA) yesterday.

As more types and doses of vaccines are expected to arrive in Malaysia in May, Dr Sim reassured that Sarawak government will continue to fight for its rightful share of vaccines under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) as well as working on the vaccine alternatives such as the single-dose Cansino and two-dose Sputnik which are still pending approval by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). — DayakDaily