Jab first, register later right approach

Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Masing. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Walk-in inoculation for the rural folk is the right approach to achieve full vaccination within the state’s scheduled time frame, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

The minister lauded Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s move to allow rural residents in Sarawak to get vaccinated without registering first.

“The chief minister said they can be vaccinated before registration is made. Basically, he is suggesting that they inject first and register later.

“This is the correct approach if we want all Sarawakians aged 18 and above to be vaccinated within our scheduled time frame.

“If we only vaccinate people registered under MySejahtera, the rural population will never get vaccinated in time. The internet is almost non-existent in longhouses and kampung,” he said in a statement today (June 8).

Additionally, Masing pointed out that not all rural populations had smartphones.

“Hence, the MySejahtera approach to register for vaccination favours the urban population and not the rural folk,” he added.

He said the various red tapes and procedures to be vaccinated had created unnecessary obstacles to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and had resulted in unnecessary loss of lives.

“What the chief minister suggested should have been done by relevant agencies from the beginning when the vaccines were discovered. Congratulations,  Abang Johari,” said Masing.

During a recent visit to Kapit, the minister said he was briefed that some health staff  took it upon themselves to bring  rural residents to vaccination centres without prior registration on MySejahtera.

“Even though their names were not in the list, the health staff were most understanding and gave them the vaccination.

“Practical solutions, it appears, are always in the minds of practical people with no vested interest.” he added.