Dr Sim: Sibu to receive Covid-19 vaccine along with Kuching when it arrives on Feb 27

(Clockwise from top left) Ting, Tiang, Dr Sim and Lau had a discussion on the distribution of vaccines in Sarawak during the video conference. — Borneo Post Online pic
(Clockwise from top left) Ting, Tiang, Dr Sim and Lau had a discussion on the distribution of vaccines in Sarawak during the video conference. — Borneo Post Online pic

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SIBU, Feb 19 — Sibu will join Kuching as one of the first districts in the state to receive the Covid-19 vaccination when it is distributed on February 27, said Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He said the decision was made due to the severity of the situation in Sibu due to the high number of Covid-19 positive cases there.

“On February 25, the vaccines will arrive in Kuala Lumpur from Belgium, before they are flown to Kuching and Sibu as well.

“So, while we are launching in Kuching, it will simultaneously launch in Sibu because we realise that Sibu is such a high-risk area. So, at this point of time, Sibu will also get the vaccination,” he said during the live discussion with Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting today.

He said the government had secure shipments of vaccines weekly until the end of March, with the first shipment mainly for frontliners.

According to him, while the state government worked closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the rolling out of the national vaccination plan, at the same time, Sarawak had formed a Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group (Scovag) to see what Sarawak could do, apart from the national plan.

The aim, he said was to have as many people as possible vaccinated and to complete the vaccination programme by August.

He also said that the group consists of 11 medical experts.

“The MoH will only complete the vaccination programme by February next year. That is why the Sarawak government has to come in, guided by the medical experts and we will work with them (experts),” he said.

He said in an effort to vaccinate the public as fast and as soon as possible, the state government would look into the accessibility to get as many vaccines as possible, as well as ensuring acceptance by the public to get at least 70 per cent of the population vaccinated to create herd immunity.

He also explained that the first phase of vaccination to be given to frontliners would be done at health clinics and hospitals, while the second phase of vaccinations would be done at private hospitals and private clinics.

He said the state government aimed to vaccinate about 12,000 people in February, then step up to 44,000 people in March, and by April about 550,000 people must be vaccinated.

“By the end of March, members of the public will start to get vaccinated, so that is why we do not want people to just come to government hospitals or government clinics, as private hospitals and clinics will all get their share,” he said.

He pointed out that there are various things needed to be looked into, especially logistics.

“You have to remember, after the first vaccination, you need to come back for the second vaccination, so you need to know when to come back and where to go,” he pointed out.

He said the second dose of the vaccine would normally be given out on Day 21 after the first vaccination.

He said Scovag would constantly monitor the changes and the development on the vaccines.

Also joining the discussion were Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew and Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Michael Tiang. — Borneo Post Online pic

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