Vaccination timely amid Delta surge

KUCHING: The Covid-19 vaccines — despite not providing total immunity against the disease — are still important, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“Though vaccination is not a silver bullet, it definitely helps to decrease the severity of Covid-19 cases and the number of deaths.

“This is timely in view of the Covid-19 surge due to the Delta variant which is causing havoc in many countries such as Singapore and Australia, which were role models to other countries for their Covid-19 (strategy),” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Dr Sim said he is looking forward for Sarawak to administer the third dose or booster dose this month.

He said the vaccines will be administered in phases similar to the last vaccine rollout; with priority given to those who are vulnerable and are considered high-risk aside from medical frontliners.

“Those in Priority Group 1 will be followed by Priority Group 2 and Priority Group 3 similar to Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP),” he said.

At the same time, the Local Government and Housing Minister expects all 12- to 17 year-olds in Sarawak to receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccines by the third week of this month.

“I thank Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) and the Health Ministry for entrusting Sarawak to be the first state to administer the vaccines to the age group, as well as roll out the booster vaccine doses,” he said.

Last week, Khairy said Sarawak will start administering the Covid-19 vaccine booster shots in October, making it the first state to do so.

He said the ministry is now drawing up the clinical guidelines on administering the vaccine booster shots, with the focus on those aged 60 and above and those with serious comorbidities.

“Sarawak will be the first state to start the booster dose programme because it was the first to complete the vaccination programme,” he said.