Sarawak to accelerate vaccination of adolescents

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (centre) with (from left) Housing, Public Health and Eduction, Science and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee, Health Director General Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah, Ministry of Health Secretary General Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah, Health Deputy Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Deputy Chief Minister and SDMC Chairman Datuk Amar Dougls Uggah Embas, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Utility Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and Sarawak Health Director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Sarawak will accelerate the vaccination of adolescents in the state as one of its Covid-19 pandemic strategies.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said thus far the state has already achieved a fairly good coverage on vaccinating its adolescents and assured that the vaccination process would continue to be enhanced.

“About 78 percent of Sarawak’s adolescents aged between 16 and 17 have been administered at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This is a good achievement,” he said.

He added that priority was given to this age group because they consist of students who need to return to schools for their examinations.

Khairy was speaking at a press conference after a special meeting on Covid-19 pandemic management and immunisation with Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) at Wisma Bapa Malaysia yesterday (Sept 26).

“And after this, we will give attention to those aged 12 to 17 years old. As of now, 29 percent of those in this age group have received at least one dose,” he said.

On the government’s approach in vaccinating illegal immigrants in the country, he said the Ministry of Health (MOH) was working with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to carry out outreach programmes for this group of people.

“We do not turn away anyone who goes to the vaccination centres (PPVS), be they Malaysian citizen, non-Malaysian, or those without documents.

“We have a policy that we give the vaccines to all and we are still conducting the outreach programme with NGOs to give the vaccine to everyone who resides in the country,” said Khairy.

Present at the meeting were Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah; MOH secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah; Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang; Deputy Chief Minister and SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Local Government and Housing Minister and SDMC advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; and State Health director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed.