By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 10: Sarawak received two shipments of 445,920 doses of Covid-19 vaccines yesterday, the largest single-day delivery to the State since shipments began in February this year.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian revealed that the shipments consisting of 380,400 doses of Sinovac and 65,520 doses of Pfizer-BionTech vaccines were a big boost to Sarawak’s Covid-19 vaccine supply to date.
The latest vaccine supply, he said, excluded the 77,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine which arrived at the end of last week in time for the AZ opt-in vaccination programme to start on June 7.
“Since PICK (National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme) started on Feb 26, 2021, we (Sarawak) only received (a total of) 380,864 doses of vaccines.
“With the substantial amount of vaccines available every week (from this month) until August, over the next few days as planned, (it) is time to scale up fast on the vaccination process (across Sarawak),” he highlighted in his Facebook post last night.
Dr Sim, who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, emphasised that vaccination drives across Sarawak will be ramped up as more public and private vaccination centres (PPVs) will be set up while mobile outreach teams will be deployed to rural interior to roll out vaccine shots.
Apart from existing PPVs, he said University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is expected to deliver 3,000 shots per day by mid June.
“More private hospitals (will come on board to be part of the PICK) from current five to 12 hospitals as well as private general practitioner (GP) clinics from the current 36 to more than 100 in coming days and weeks.
“Public hospitals and health clinics will also increase their daily vaccine inoculations,” he added.
As for the mobile outreach teams to be deployed to cover vaccinations in the rural interior of Sarawak, Dr Sim pointed out that they will adopt the hybrid method of ‘vaccinate first, register later’ especially in areas lacking Internet connection and particularly for rural folks who are not tech-savvy.
“PPVs for industries will also be set up whenever the industry is ready with venue and manpower in order to minimise vaccine wastage. This is targeted at workers and families in the same locality to avoid inter-district movement.
“Vaccines will be free for workers but employers will have to pay RM14 per vaccination as charges for nurses and GP carrying out the procedures,” he said.
Noting that Sarawak was the third among the states in Malaysia with the highest number of people registered for vaccination, Dr Sim however stressed that the number only accounted for 61.5 per cent of the overall eligible recipients in Sarawak.
According to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), a total of 1,255,948 out of 2,072,000 people in Sarawak have registered for vaccinations as of June 8.
As of June 8, a total of 256,004 people in Sarawak have received the first dose of vaccines while 124,820 people have completed the two doses. — DayakDaily