Abang Johari among first in Sarawak to be injected with Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine


Medical personnel prepare to administer the vaccine to Abang Johari at the live telecast event.

KUCHING (Feb 26): Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today received his first Covid-19 vaccine dose at the Petra Jaya health clinic here, spearheading the first phase of the Sarawak Covid-19 vaccination programme.

He arrived at the clinic at 3pm sharp, and was accompanied by Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Sarawak Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing.

Abang Johari was immediately seated, and was asked to review his consent form before receiving his jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

The first 23,400 doses of the vaccine arrived on Wednesday, with more doses scheduled to arrive in the state all through March.

Next in line was Awang Tengah, followed by Dr Sim and Dr Chin. Uggah had to forgo the vaccination today due to a certain medical condition.’

Abang Johari remarked later that he did not feel any unusual side effects, adding that the jab “felt like an ant bite.”

The vaccine was administered by the Petra Jaya health clinic head nurse Monica Aok, assisted by nurse Tan Chin Yeh.

Uggah, meanwhile, was not vaccinated today due to health reasons, an aide said. He said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman will instead be vaccinated tomorrow.

Others who were also vaccinated at the clinic were Petra Jaya health clinic nurse Juliet Tijun, 44, and Kuching Division Chief Assistant Medical Officer Beti Inka, 56.

Abang Johari is set to officially launch Sarawak’s vaccination programme at Stadium Perpaduan here tomorrow morning (Feb 27).

The programme will be carried out in three stages and the state government aims at completing it in August this year, instead of February next year under the national plan.

The first phase is expected to end on March 31, covering a total of 97,161 frontliners.

Upon completion of the first phase, the second and third phase of the state’s vaccination programme will start from April 1 until Aug 31.

The second phase will cover 929,435 individuals from the elderly and high-risk group namely those with comorbidities whereas the third phase will be administered to 992,834 individuals who are aged 18 years and above.

Several vaccination centres would be set up across the state including public health facilities, selected private health facilities, community halls and selected old folks homes.

A total of 2,019,431 Sarawakians are eligible for the free Covid-19 vaccinations, as well as some 200,000 non-Sarawakian citizens, expected to cover approximately 80 per cent of the state’s population to achieve herd immunity.

According to the vaccine information sheet in MySejahtera, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be administered in two doses three weeks or 21 days apart.

Sarawak Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing in a statement on Feb 24 advised those who have yet to sign up for the free vaccination programme to do so through the MySejahtera app on their smartphones, or go to the nearest district offices or through their community leaders and Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).

Those who signed up through MySejahtera will be notified on the day and location to receive their vaccination on their smartphone through the app’s notifications, and those who signed up manually would be given an appointment card or would be notified via a phone call.

For further inquiries, the Sarawak Health Department can be contacted via telephone at hotline numbers 082-473275, 473276, 473304, 473320, or 473345.