Dr Sim: Adolescent vaccination will first go to 16-17yo, then 12-15yo

Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian (file photo).

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 3: Sarawak hopes to vaccinate those below 18 years old against Covid-19 as soon as possible, but in stages, says Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

With almost 29 per cent of Sarawak’s population aged below 18, he said the priority will first go to teenagers who are between 12 to 17 years old, before shifting to the younger ones.

“We want to first vaccinate the 16 and 17 years old, then the 12 to 15 years old as soon as possible where National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NRPA) has approved Pfizer vaccines for both age groups.

“After that, we will probably vaccinate the 3 to 11 years old pending approval by the NRPA,” he said in a Facebook post today.

Dr Sim, who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, took note that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had said Covid-19 will soon become an endemic whereby the disease is consistently present in a population and will not disappear anytime soon.

He mentioned dengue and Influenza (flu) as examples of endemic diseases in Malaysia.

He said World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 290,000 to 650,000 people dying of flu every year, but instead of panic and chaos, the world adapts its behaviour to live safe.

Similar to Covid-19, vaccination is important to reduce the risk of serious illnesses and death if infected by the virus.

“So, if you are eligible and have not received the vaccine, please do so quickly. It is free,” said Dr Sim. — DayakDaily