Use systematic process to avoid overcrowding

Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Even though the implementation of walk-in vaccinations has been approved in Sarawak, the process needs to be systematic in order to avoid overcrowding.

As such, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian urged those who had not been vaccinated yet to simply WhatsApp their name, identity card number, and location through the relevant channels or hotlines.

“This is so that we can systematically allocate a slot to you at your nearest vaccination centre (PPV) when the centre is free,” he said to reporters after officiating at the Peladang Prihatin Sarawak programme held at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Day Care Centre today (July 23).

He advised people not to just walk in without having set an appointment as this could result in a large number of people visiting a particular PPV or all only at a certain time, potentially causing a cluster.

“There is no need to panic. Whoever wants to be vaccinated will have a chance to be vaccinated because we are waiting for people now,” said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor. 

“We have almost finished vaccinating everybody on the MySejahtera list. In Sarawak, we are now in a scenario where the vaccines are waiting for people. So we know that there are still people who have not been vaccinated yet because we know what our population is,” he said.

Commenting on why the state’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout would be using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which started today (July 23), Dr Sim explained that the 12 million doses of Sinovac vaccines procured by the federal government had been completed.

“It is just that Pfizer has not (completed its doses for delivery),” he said.

He said Sarawak also wanted to receive the single-dose CanSino vaccine as it would be a better fit for people who faced difficulties in returning for a second dose of vaccine.

At the same time, he said there would be no mixing of vaccines with regard to doses, meaning if a person received Sinovac as their first vaccine dose, they would receive Sinovac for their second dose.

He also reminded that one would have to wait for two weeks after being fully vaccinated before they built up their antibodies to a sufficient level.

“After both doses, everyone must still remain vigilant and comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” Dr Sim said, pointing out that a fully vaccinated person could still be infected with Covid-19.