By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 20: Sarawak’s Covid-19 immunisation rollout will use Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca (AZ) and CanSino vaccines after July for those getting their first dose.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian highlighted that this is in line with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick) which will no longer use Sinovac, given the completion of supply delivery of some 12 million doses procured by the federal government by this month.
“After July 22, (those getting) dose 1 (will be administered) with Pfizer and later CanSino when available in Malaysia.
“(Those getting) Dose 2 from Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer will receive the same vaccines as their first dose,” he explained in a Facebook post today following the arrival of another weekly-scheduled shipment of Sinovac vaccines at Kuching International Airport.
Dr Sim noted that PICK Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that Malaysia would stop using Sinovac after current supplies finish, and would predominantly use the Pfizer vaccine for its national rollout as Malaysia has procured an additional 12.8 million Pfizer doses, bringing the total amount doses secured to 44.8 million which is enough to cover 70 per cent of the population.
Khairy has also clarified that there was no issue over Sinovac’s efficacy as surplus shots would remain available for those who may have allergy concerns with other vaccines.
In addition, he added, Malaysia will soon allow the commercial sale of Sinovac and Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Chinese firms.
The Sinovac vaccine would be available commercially from Aug 1, while the Sinopharm vaccine, which was approved last Friday (July 16) for emergency use, would soon be open for private purchase.
As for the one-dose CanSino vaccine, the Sarawak government had requested 650,000 doses for use in hard-to-reach rural and interior areas to ease and speed up the vaccination process.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on July 17 revealed that a shipment of CanSino vaccines is expected to arrive at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, Dr Sim, who is the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, also emphasised that amazing and extraordinary teamwork from all sectors has resulted in 72 per cent of population or 1.58 million people in Sarawak receiving their first vaccine dose as of July 19.
“As for the second dose, 932,931 people or 45.7 per cent of the population have completed the vaccination,” he added. — DayakDaily