Private healthcare workers among early vaccinated

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sarawak Vice Chairperson Dr. Liew Shan Fap getting his Covid-19 vaccination at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Aside from public healthcare workers, more private healthcare workers have also received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the state.

Society of Private Medical Practitioners Sarawak (SPMPS) president Dr Liew Shan Fap said not only private doctors but other medical healthcare workers, nurses, and other front-line staff that have the risk of getting Covid-19 have received the vaccine in the past few days.

“All the healthcare frontliners from both public and private sectors are receiving the Covid-19 vaccination since its rollout in the state on Feb 26.

“Therefore, on behalf of SPMPS, I would like to record our thanks to the Sarawak government, Sarawak Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing, and the State Health Department for their effort to include private doctors in the early phase of the vaccination programme,” he said after receiving his first dose of the vaccine at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium today (March 6).

He said this indeed has strengthened the spirit of public-private partnership in the state.

“In addition, the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination in Sarawak has been smooth and was done very systematically, and we are also leading in the number of frontliners vaccinated compared to other states in our country.

“The state government, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), and the State Health Department have done a very good job in achieving this, and I think we need to give them a thumbs-up for their effort,” he said.

On another note, Dr Liew who is also the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sarawak vice-chairperson urged everyone to get vaccinated unless they have an absolute contraindication, and they can consult their doctor if they have doubts.

“Sarawak aims to complete vaccination by August this year, which is six months ahead of the nation’s target of February 2022. With this, we need to involve everyone in the state to achieve this ambitious target,” he said.

He said the private healthcare facilities including private hospitals and general practitioner (GP) clinics are well-prepared and ready to be included as vaccination centres in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the vaccination programme.

“The most crucial aspect of the vaccination programme is public acceptance of Covid-19 vaccination as we need to vaccinate 70 percent of our population to achieve herd immunity.

“With those below 18 years old will be excluded for vaccination, we need a high participation rate to achieve the target,” he said.

Currently, Dr Liew said there are three types of vaccines approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) for use in Malaysia, such as the Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.

“These vaccines have been proven safe and very effective which is nearly 100 percent in preventing serious complications of Covid-19 Infection like pneumonia, admission to intensive care unit (ICU) and death,” he stressed.

 He added the side effects of the vaccines are mostly minor, and the most worrying side effects of severe allergy and anaphylaxis are extremely rare.

“Please be assured that effective measures are put in place at vaccination centres to treat these side effects if they do occur.

“So, I want to encourage everyone to come for the vaccine injections. Don’t worry, it is not painful, everyone has to get the vaccination to protect ourselves and others against Covid-19,” said Dr Liew.