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Sarawak expects to get Cansino Covid-19 vaccine from mid-July

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Uggah (second left) reassures a vaccine recipient. At left is Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat.

KUCHING (June 23): Supplies of the single-dose Cansino Covid-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Sarawak by the middle of next month, said State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The Deputy Chief Minister revealed Sarawak had requested for 650,000 doses of the vaccine.

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“The Cansino is very much suitable for our people living deep in the interior like the Penans.

“Our medical teams will only need to visit them once to vaccinate them, thus cutting down on logistics, transportation, and other costs,” he said in a statement today.

Uggah pointed out state medical teams had already visited a number of such interior longhouses and villages in Miri and Kapit divisions recently and vaccinated the people with the Sinovac vaccine.

“We had to do this immediately due to the outbreaks in these locations, which warranted our immediate response.

“As always, our priority is to save lives,” he said.

Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had announced on June 21 that the first delivery of the CanSino vaccine from CanSino Biologics Inc, China is scheduled to arrive in the country next month.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister had said the delivery schedule for CanSino is still being finalised but he is confident they will get to distribute the vaccine by the end of next month.

On June 15, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced Malaysia had given conditional approval for the Cansino vaccine — Convidecia Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) — produced by the CanSino Biologics Inc, China, which is a single-dose vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States has also been given conditional approval for use in Malaysia but no delivery date has been given so far.

Meanwhile, Uggah was in Betong to visit the Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV) at the Spaoh Community Hall.

On the Betong Division vaccination programme roll out, the Bukit Saban assemblyman said he was very satisfied with the performance and achievement of all the front-liners.

“I was told by Betong Division Health officer Dr Johnny Pangkas that until now, a total of  35,312 people had been given the first dose and 7,236 the second dose.

“I am confident, based on the achievement and the pace at which our front-liners are moving, Betong Division can complete its vaccination programme by the end of next month,” he said.

Uggah also thanked the Betong Division Disaster Management Committee for its very efficient organisation of the process.