First batch of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines land in Sarawak

The plane that carries the Pfizer Vaccine is touching down at Kuching International Airport.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 24: The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for Sarawak has touched down at Raya Air Warehouse’s cargo area of Kuching International Airport (KIA) at 6.18pm today, ahead of the State vaccine rollout due to begin this Friday (Feb 26).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian were here to witness the arrival of the vaccine produced in Belgium to combat Covid-19.

This first shipment will go to a secure storage facility to undergo safety and quality checks before they are distributed to identified vaccination centres across the State.

The Sarawak government together with Ministry of Health (MOH) through State Health Department has mapped out the 56 vaccination centres as the State.

The highly anticipated vaccine rollout is scheduled to begin this Friday (Feb 26), or a day earlier than previously scheduled, at Stadium Perpaduan in Petra Jaya here as well as in Sibu with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will be among the first Sarawakians to receive the jab.

Malaysia received the first shipment of 312,390 doses of the long-awaited vaccine last Sunday (Feb 21) as Putrajaya led the nation in vaccinations with the rollout of the first phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme today.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah were the first two to receive the jab at Putrajaya District Health Centre at 3pm today.

From what had been gathered in recent weeks, the first tranche for Sarawak is enough to cover some 40,000 out of an estimated 97,000 frontline workers in the State including medical and healthcare staff, the police, army and civil defence personnel.

The first phase of vaccination is expected to last until April 1 and will be followed by the second and third phases simultaneously from end of March until August.

The second phase for Sarawak will involve 929,000 individuals from the high-risk groups including senior citizens, vulnerable individuals with comorbidities and disabled persons, while 992,000 healthy adults aged 18 years and above would receive theirs in the last.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin had revealed yesterday (Feb 23) that Malaysia will receive the second batch of 182,520 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today (Feb 24) for distribution to states that have yet to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine will be distributed to Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Perak today, while Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan will receive the supply on Thursday, he said. — DayakDaily