KUCHING: Four hundred and eighty four journos have finally received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines.
Kuching Division Journalists Association deputy chairman, Zulazhar Sheblee, who is the coordinator of State Media Vaccination Programme, said the journalists and photographers were initially removed from the list of frontliners eligible for the first phase of National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which commenced on Feb 26.
“The news came as a shock to the media personnel since our nature of work and profession require us to go to the ground and subsequently be exposed to the risk of Covid-19 infection.
“Prior to the fiasco, we managed to send the names of 12 media personnel into the list of the first batch of vaccine recipients back in February,” he said today.
The data, however, did not include those who had been inoculated through the AstraZeneca vaccine opt-in programme held at two locations, namely, the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here and the National Youth Skills Institute in Miri.
Fast forward to several months later, Federal Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin finally announced that a sum of Covid-19 vaccines would be allocated for the vaccination of the media practitioners nationwide beginning in June.
“Alhamdulillah, we are very grateful for the successful Covid-19 jabs of the media personnel registered under the Federation of Sarawak Journalists Association (FSJA). We wish to thank those who were directly and indirectly involved in the media vaccination process.
“We also like to thank Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg; Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also the chairman of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee; Khairy; Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; Deputy State Secretary Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit; Ministry of Health; State Planning Unit; Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and its vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi; the Stadium Perpaduan vaccination centre (PPV); Unimas PPV; Kozi Square PPV; BCCK PPV; Batu Kawa Health Clinic and all volunteers.
“We also appreciate the assistance, guidance and support that we received from the FSJA president Jacqueline Nur Atiqah, exco members and others for putting their trust in me to handle the programme,” Zulazhar added.