KUCHING — Some 200,000 non-Sarawakians residing in the state are expected to be included in the Covid-19 vaccination programme upon its rollout next week, said Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing.
He said they would be a part of the targeted 2.2 million people in Sarawak to receive vaccination in order to achieve herd immunity against the virus.
“Out of 2.8 million Sarawakians, we target at least two million Sarawakians – plus probably 200,000 non-citizens residing in Sarawak. With that, I think we can aim for about 80 per cent of the population, so hopefully with that, we would have herd immunity.
“That’s why we have to get as many as possible of those above the age of 18 years old who are eligible because this (vaccination) is provided free, so I think we should take this opportunity,” said Dr Chin said during the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) press conference here yesterday.
The vaccination programme is expected to be launched February 27 in Sarawak, and the state government aims to complete the programme by August – about five months ahead of the national target.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who is SDMC chairman, told the press conference earlier that Sarawakians would not be forced to take part in the vaccination programme.
Nonetheless, he said he only hoped Sarawakians would be aware of the benefits of the vaccination programme, meant to flatten the infection curve of Covid-19 in the state, so that Sarawakians could live their lives like they were before the pandemic started.
“We hope that everyone would want to be vaccinated. Our guideline is that we plan to vaccinate Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians residing in the state, aged 18 and above. We expect the number to be vaccinated of 2.2 million.
“Experts from the Sarawak Health Department, with the materials prepared, would explain to Sarawakians the benefit of this vaccination, and we hope once all Sarawakians have been informed about these benefits, all Sarawakians would be prepared to be vaccinated.
“We are not going to force (Sarawakians to participate) so that’s why before that, you have to sign a consent form,” said Uggah.
He said those interested to participate could register via MySejahtera, at the public clinics and hospitals throughout Sarawak, and also at the district offices nearest to them.
“I want to warn Sarawakians not to send your IC, full name or your registration to any other parties other than to the public clinics, district offices or via MySejahtera, so that these details would not be misused,” he said.
Uggah also called upon the public not to be misled by confusing information about vaccination shown on social media; instead, they should trust the professionals such as Dr Chin who had been working hard to debunk such false information.
“I want Sarawakians to assess themselves objectively regarding the benefits of this vaccination,” said Uggah.
Malaysia is acquiring at least five types of Covid-19 vaccines, but so far, only the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine would be rolled out. – Borneo Post Online
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