SCOVAG to advise state government on booster shot, teen vaccination

KUCHING: The Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (Scovag) will advise the state government on whether a third Covid-19 vaccine dose should be given to fully vaccinated individuals as well as vaccination of teenagers aged 12 to 18.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state government will wait for advice from its experts on the matter.

“Scovag will have to advise us soon on vaccination for those aged between 12 and 18 years as well as whether a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine – a booster dose should be given,” he said in a Facebook post.

Dr Sim said currently the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) has not made their decision on the matter, adding that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has only approved the Pfizer vaccines to be used on the teenagers.

He said the state government was prepared to use its own funds to procure the vaccine if such was not included under NCIP.

Separately, the Local Government and Housing Minister said Sarawak had received a substantial increase of Pfizer vaccine supply from the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF).

“The current status of vaccine delivery ordered under NCIP is that for Sinovac vaccines, it is completed by July as there will be no new deliveries to Sarawak.

“Supply of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are ongoing while the delivery of the single-dose CanSino vaccines has yet to start in Malaysia,” he said.

Dr Sim said after July 22, the vaccine rollout in Sarawak for first dose recipient would be using the Pfizer and CanSino vaccines.

He said Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer would continue to be offered for second dose vaccine recipients. “Due to NCIP’s policy of not allowing the vaccine to be mixed, the recipients will receive their second Covid-19 vaccine dose of the same type with the first vaccine dose,” he explained.