KUCHING (Dec 23): The Sarawak government will ensure the Covid-19 vaccine is provided for free to all Sarawakians, even if it involves high transportation cost to get the vaccine to the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“The cost of the vaccine is expected to be priced at RM77 for two doses and this does not include transportation costs. When transported to Sarawak, it needs to be kept in a special refrigerated container with a temperature of negative 70 degrees Celsius.
“We don’t know the cost yet but we are ready to evaluate it. For this state government led by me, the people come first,” he said at the symbolic presentation of additional Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) additional assistance today.
Abang Johari said the Sarawak government decided to provide the Covid-19 vaccine for free to all Sarawakians as soon as Malaysia signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
“This is our preparation (in controlling the pandemic) as it looks like there is a vaccine in the market and Malaysia has signed an agreement to get the vaccine,” he said.
On a related matter, he said the Sarawak government has so far spent close to RM100 million to pay for quarantine costs for returning Sarawakians ever since the pandemic started.
He explained this is to pay for their lodging and meals while being quarantined at hotels and other quarantine centres.
At present, Sarawakians returning from other states and overseas do not have to pay anything when undergoing quarantine as the cost is borne by the state.
“This is the expenditure we bear. Other states don’t have such quarantine because we prioritise the health of our people,” he said.