Allow us to procure vaccines from whoever we want

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing speaking to the press. Photo: Bernama

KUCHING: A deputy chief minister is dissatisfied with the speed of vaccines rolled out by the Health Ministry (MOH) to Sarawakians and has appealed to Putrajaya not to restrict the state government or big companies from procuring the vaccines from any international sources.

“The speed of rolling out vaccines to Sarawak is not what the people have anticipated. The demand to be vaccinated is more than supply.

“We have the fund, so allow us to procure for the sake of our people,” Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said today (May 14).

He reminded Putrajaya that economic gain must not be the factor when making this decision, stressing that the people’s health should take precedence above economics consideration.

Recognised clinics or pharmacies must be allowed to purchase the vaccines and administer them to those who want to be vaccinated.

“In addition, these vaccines must be put under controlled items. The government must put a price cap on the vaccines,” he said.

Masing said that those who violated the price cap must be penalised and insisted that there must be stringent enforcement.

“We must bear in mind that tough times require tough decisions. Once those rules are in force, the country may be able to flatten the Covid-19 curve,” he said.

He said the United States had done it with their warp speed of rolling out of the vaccines and now the use of face masks in the USA was no longer mandatory.

“If the US, with over 200 million people can do it, there is no reason why Sarawak with 2.8 million can’t,” said Masing.