BY NATASHA JEE & NEVILLE TIMOTHY SANDERS
KUCHING: The second COVID-19 booster dose is being rolled out in the state in order to build the body’s immunity to the virus and prevent a spike in cases, especially during the upcoming Hari Raya and Gawai Dayak celebrations.
Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian stated that the second booster dose was required because the body’s immunity began to deteriorate following the administration of the first booster dose in October last year.
“We all know that Hari Raya and Gawai are approaching, so this (administering the second dose) is one of the proactive measures that the state is taking to prevent a big surge in COVID-19 cases,” he told reporters after launching the Earth Day programme organised by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) at the council’s lobby hall here, today.
Dr Sim, who is also the Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, explained that the second booster dose is essential because it provides greater protection and prevents one from being easily infected by the virus.
“All we want is for Hari Raya and Gawai to be a safe and healthy celebration,” he stressed.
Elaborating further, he said besides rolling out the second booster dose, the state is also procuring expensive antiviral pills for treatment of COVID-19.
“Despite the fact that the COVID-19 Omicron variant is described as ‘mild’, individuals die every day.
“So, we want to prevent as many people from becoming sick and dying from COVID-19 as possible, and that is the reason why the state buys the antiviral pills,” he explained.
Meanwhile, in a recent statement, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Sarawak would begin providing its second COVID-19 booster dose today.
He explained that the dose would be given to two groups of people, the first of whom would be those over 60 years old with high-risk comorbidities, and the second of whom would be people aged 12 and above who were moderately or severely immunocompromised.