No back door vaccination

Dr Chin Zin Hing speaks during the press conference. Photo: JaPen

KUCHING: The Sarawak Health Department has denied a report of people in Sibu being given appointments for the Covid-19 vaccination earlier than they should or via the back door.

Its director Dr Chin Zin Hing said the report in a newspaper was not true.

“The Sibu Health Divisional Office uses the guidelines of the National Covid-19 immunisation programme in administering the vaccine for the first phase and nothing happened through the back door,” he said during the daily Covid-19 press conference at the Old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building today (April 20).

He said that the picture that went viral on social media was of a frontliner under the Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) category which had been listed and scheduled to receive the vaccine on the date given at the clinic concerned.

Dr Chin said the frontliner received the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination programme.

On a related matter, he said there was some confusion about the appointment dates for vaccination in the clinic. 

“As I have mentioned earlier, the instruction given to us by the Ministry of Health (MoH) is that we provide a standby list of frontliners and chronic disease patients who have been screened for ‘standby’ (to receive the vaccine).

“The patients who received the appointment papers were those in the standby list,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the alleged ‘back door’ vaccination incidents, Deputy Chief Minister and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said SDMC was taking a very serious view of what was happening in Sibu.

“We want the director of medical services to investigate what really happened and to make sure it will not happen again.

“Because the direction is very clear. The names of the recipients to receive the vaccine are through MySejahtera, and not through any clinic calling the public to come to get it,” said Uggah.