Tuesday, December 7

Uggah: State govt looking into purchasing own Covid-19 vaccines


Uggah. – File photo

KUCHING (Mar 1): The state government is looking into the possibility of purchasing its own Covid-19 vaccines, said State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has instructed a team in SDMC to find ways on how to purchase the vaccines.

“The Prime Minister has informed us that the federal government will supply the vaccines which are needed by qualified Sarawakians.

“Nevertheless, our Chief Minister has instructed a team to be led by Datuk Dr Andrew Kiyu to find ways for us to purchase the vaccine because if we can do so, we can then increase our vaccine doses in addition to what is being supplied by the federal government,” he told a press conference today.

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said if this plan succeeds, the state can therefore speed up the process of getting all qualified Sarawakians to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Our target is to have Sarawakians vaccinated by August. Dr Sim is talking to Kuala Lumpur (federal government) because we have to buy through them.

“So far there has been no indication that we are able to get any stock (of vaccines) but the effort is being made,” he said.

Sarawak’s first batch of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines containing 23,400 doses arrived from Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday.

Since the state’s Covid-19 immunisation programme was launched on Friday, a total of 8,323 individuals have been vaccinated at nine divisions across the state within three days.

The second shipment of the vaccine containing 31,590 doses is expected to arrive tomorrow (March 2) followed by the third and fourth shipments of 4,680 doses each on March 10 and 17 respectively.

The last two shipments will arrive on March 24 (14,040 doses) and March 31 (9,360 doses).