Uggah: Necessary preparations underway to ensure Covid-19 vaccine booster shots can be administered for high-risk groups in Sarawak

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas speaks during the press conference. — Photo courtesy of UKAS
Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas speaks during the press conference. — Photo courtesy of UKAS

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KUCHING, Sept 20 — The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is doing all the necessary preparations to ensure that it is ready to administer Covid-19 booster shots for high-risk groups.

Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state government has submitted a request to the federal government for the booster shot consideration after a meeting with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recently.

“Several countries such as England and Israel have already begun giving booster shots especially to vulnerable groups and there seems to be a positive response.

“We must thank the federal government especially the Health Minister who has considered what we have requested,” he told a press conference after chairing a meeting on the Covid-19 Public Awareness Working Committee here.

Though he said the state does not have a timeline yet on when it would be starting the booster shot administration, SDMC is already doing all the necessary preparations.

“The plan is there to carry out booster shots but I don’t have the details at the moment.

“Right now, we are also busy with giving vaccinations to 16- and 17-year-olds,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday announced that the government has agreed to the administration of Covid-19 booster shots for high-risk groups after 80 per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated.

Among those who will be prioritised for the booster shot include front line medical personnel, immunocompromised individuals, senior citizens with comorbidities and those residing and working in long-term care facilities.

On another issue, Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister said the CanSino vaccines will be arriving here tomorrow and on Wednesday (Sept 21) to be distributed to areas in Sarawak which are in need of the single-dose vaccine.

He said the vaccines will most likely be distributed to the interiors, where some Penan communities have yet to be inoculated.

“I was informed that there are some Penans in the interior as well as people working in plantations who have not been vaccinated.

“Once the batch of CanSino vaccines arrive, we will distribute them to the respective areas immediately,” he said.

He revealed that initially there were no plans for the state to distribute the CanSino vaccines to people living in the interior.

“When we look at the level of supply at that time, we do not know when the batch of CanSino vaccines will arrive.

“At the moment, about 90 per cent of those living in the interior have been vaccinated and I think we made a good decision, otherwise there would be a lot of people there who have not been inoculated, especially if we chose to wait for CanSino and it only arrived now,” he said. — Borneo Post

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