Booster shot for high-risk groups next week
By:Natasha Jee
Date:
KCH-sim booster-0210-nj (p1)

KUCHING: Sarawak will begin administering the Covid-19 booster dose to high-risk individuals starting next week.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said that the medical experts were now finalising the details on whether to use the Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech) or Sinovac vaccines.

“We will start next week using either Pfizer or Sinovac, because Kuala Lumpur has started supplying us more Pfizer vaccines and we also have leftover stocks of Sinovac vaccine,” he said.

He told reporters when met after the World Rabies Day 2021 Sarawak hybrid virtual event at the Tegas Digital Innovation Hub yesterday (Oct 2).

“We will start to administer the booster dose for the priority group such as the high-risk and vulnerable individuals, medical frontliners, followed by those with comorbidities and then the general population,” he said.

Dr Sim, who is also the Local Government and Housing Minister, informed that the Ministry of Health (MOH) deputy director-general Datuk Dr Chong Chee Kong who is the head of the   Greater Klang Valley Task Force to manage the Covid-19 situation there, would be arriving in Sarawak today (Oct 3).

“He is going to spend some time with us (to assist on the Covid-19 situation) as we are the first state to have a high vaccination rate and then first to have a surge in Covid-19 cases and breakthroughs,” he said.

Dr Sim also hoped that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) would look into approving Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 12 and below in the state. He said this age group constituted 20 percent of the total population in the state.

“When these young children get infected, they will experience mild symptoms but we are always worried about the impact of this infection in the longer term.

“So if possible, from the policy point of view, maybe we need to take their blood for further studies,” he said.

Dr Sim also urged the people to take other preventive measures aside from adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that has been set to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The three measures, he said, is to do self-risk assessment, self-test and self-monitoring.

“Know your risk when you are out so that necessary precautionary measures can be taken. While self-testing is important so that we can stop the transmission earlier, this must come with our self-responsibility.

“In addition, monitor your health and know the danger sign and at what stage it is dangerous. For instance, at what level of oxygen saturation is dangerous to the person,” said Dr Sim.

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