KUCHING, June 9: There will be special mobile outreach teams set up in the interior of Sarawak to accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination of rural folks.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the committee has engaged 11 mobile teams in Song, Kapit, Bukit Mabong and Belaga districts to ramp up inoculation efforts.
“We have, for instance, engaged 11 mobile teams in Song, Kapit, Bukit Mabong and Belaga Districts. Each team will come to a designated centre where longhouses folks and villagers in each area will have to converge.
“Each team is expected to vaccinate 250 individuals daily,” he told reporters after witnessing the arrival of 380,000 doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine which arrived at Kuching International Airport (KIA) on a MAS Cargo plane here today.
Uggah, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister was accompanied by SDMC advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian who is also Minister for Local Government and Housing and acting State Health Department director Dr Rosmawati Ariffin.
Uggah believed that Sarawak is on course for a more comprehensive Covid-19 immunisation programme with the arrival of the Sinovac shipment.
Uggah who is also the Second Finance Minister said the State has done extensive planning in the last few months to fully utilise the increase Covid-19 vaccine supplies.
“We have looked into establishing more vaccination centres, government facilities and private clinics and private hospitals as well as setting up mobile teams to reach out into interior areas.
“On the part of the government facilities, we have identified 130 government clinics and hospitals where the total daily vaccination capacity is expected at 24,300 vaccines.
“We are also going to set up public vaccination centres in 102 stadiums, community halls, offices and longhouses.
The target is to have 42,500 vaccines (used) daily,” he added.
On private sector engagement, Uggah revealed the government had roped in 42 private clinics of which 40 had already started administering vaccinations while more are in the process of registration.
He said they are expected to vaccinate 3,366 individuals each week and would be operational three days a week, adding that private clinics are expected to increase operation hours for vaccination to five days each week.
“For private hospitals, we will engage six more to add to the five which have started giving the vaccination.
“They will have a combined total capacity of between 5,000 to 7,000 vaccine (doses) per day,” he said.
Additionally, Uggah noted, there are two designated vaccination centres to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine, one at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching and the other at National Youth Skills Institute in Miri.
“The target is for both centres to vaccinate a combined total of 4,400 individuals each day,” he said.
As of May 27, a total of 1,255,948 people (61.5 per cent) out of the State’s population of 2,072,000 people who are above 18-years-old have registered for vaccination.
Meanwhile, according to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, as at June 8, Sarawak had the second highest number of people who completed their two doses of vaccinations with 124,820 in the country and ranked third highest for the number of first dose recipients with 256,044. — DayakDaily