Sibu to lead in second phase of vaccination

KUCHING: Sibu division will take the lead in implementing the second phase of the vaccination programme in Sarawak beginning this Monday.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said after Sibu, all the divisions throughout the state will follow through with the programme.

“The recipients have been and will be informed through their MySejahtera app.

“This is another step that we are trying to take to continue to speed up the vaccination programme.

“According to our plan, Sarawakians who are qualified and ready to be vaccinated will receive their vaccine by the end of August,” he said in a daily Covid-19 press conference today (April 15).

He further said that National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has assured that the latter will provide the vaccines required by Sarawak.

At the same time, Uggah said Sarawak is also waiting for the final approval for the state to purchase its own vaccines to complement the vaccines supplied by Putrajaya.

“We are pleased to note that one of the vaccines — CanSino — is a single dose vaccine and we have requested for at least 600,000 to 800,000 of them to be supplied to Sarawak to facilitate our move to vaccinate people in rural areas.

“We are taking the necessary steps, including buying our own vaccines so that our target to vaccinate at least 70 percent of Sarawakians by August could be achieved.

“Khairy also agreed that for rural areas, the process of vaccination would not follow categories. We will give vaccines to all at one time,” he said.

Uggah said so far, Sarawak has the highest number of percentage nationwide in terms of vaccination registration at 66 percent.

Meanwhile, state Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing has announced that there is no South African strain of Covid-19 virus detected in Sarawak so far.

He informed that a team from University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), led by Prof Dr David Perera, had conducted the genome sequencing analysis of Covid-19 and identified three variants infecting Sarawakians.

“So far, we don’t have any South African variant among the three variants identified.

“Apart from that, the current vaccines that we used have been proven to be effective against the three variants of Covid-19 infection in this current wave,” he said.

However, he advised those who have received their Covid-19 jabs to continue to be vigilant and adhere to the standard operating procedures.

“Even after you receive the second dose of the vaccine, it will take two to three weeks to achieve maximum protection. Even though you have been vaccinated, you can also infect others,” he added.