KUCHING, Sept 20 — A shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine arrived at the Kuching International Airport here last night from Belgium to accelerate Sarawak’s vaccination drive for adolescents aged from 12 to 17, said Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
According to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee advisor, the last delivery of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the state was Aug 11.
Dr Sim, who is Local Government and Housing Minister, said the latest shipment is timely given that Pfizer-BioNTech is the only vaccine approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) of the Ministry of Health (MoH) for those aged between 12 and 17.
“We hope JKNS (Sarawak Health Department) can re-plan the schedule for the vaccination of those aged 12 to 15,” he said.
He pointed out that this age group constituted 6.9 per cent (or 192,800 people) of the state’s total population, based on the data released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
“Sarawak has been proven beyond doubt on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) vaccines roll-out for adults. We have been entrusted to be the first for vaccinating 12 to17 years old in Malaysia.
“Let’s aim to be the first for third dose and booster dose next month (October) in Malaysia,” he said.
Dr Sim said although Covid-19 vaccines cannot be the only measure in Sarawak’s fight against Covid-19, the scientific data had proven its effectiveness to decrease severe cases and deaths as well as reducing the utilisation rate of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and ventilators.
Despite so, he said the community still need to take other public health measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions to live with the virus.
He added that this would also help ensure that our hospitals and healthcare facilities would not be overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.
“Let’s fight Covid-19 together. Protect yourself, protect all,” he appealed. — Borneo Post