Medical frontliners to get top priority for booster vaccine


KUCHING: The additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out starting with medical frontliners, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He said the group will be prioritised for the administration of the additional vaccine dose with a third dose or a booster dose given depending on suitability.

Dr Sim explained the third dose is being given to those who are immune-compromised, while the booster dose is given to boost the antibodies of those who received the first two doses.

“By October, Sarawak is looking forward to be entrusted again by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) for the different priorities groups. Priority one is the medical frontliners,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Dr Sim said in the post-vaccination era, despite the surge of the Delta variant, focus should no longer be on the new daily Covid-19 cases in the state but on hospital admission, intensive care unit (ICU) bed usage, number of ventilations and deaths.

“In order to achieve this, we need help from everyone to come forward to be vaccinated especially those remaining eligible adults aged 18 and above.

“At the same time, we also call on the newly eligible group which Sarawak is entrusted to be the first in Malaysia to vaccinate those aged 16 to 17; and 12 to 15,” he said.

The Local Government and Housing Minister said the vaccination has resulted in a decrease of severity, deaths, ICU admission and ventilation.

Alluding to the case report of Sept 12, when Sarawak recorded its highest daily tally at 5,291 cases, he said despite the high cases, it recorded a low number of deaths.

On the same day he said, Sabah which is still catching up with vaccination recorded 84 deaths, which was its highest daily total compared to Sarawak’s eight deaths despite recording 1,717 cases — nearly 3,500 cases less than Sarawak.

He also said the effect of high vaccination is also observed in New South Wales in Australia which showed similar observations to Sarawak.

“Australia used to have a zero Covid-19 policy with the country being locked down. With the arrival of Delta, the scenario has changed,” he said.