KUCHING, Sept 8 — Secondary schoolers from SMK Sri Matang here were the first adolescents aged 15 to 16 in Sarawak to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine today.
The first batch of students from the school numbered 374.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg said vaccination for the adolescents will be conducted in stages and the first dose for this age group is expected to be completed by the end of this week.
“They are expected to be fully immunised before the resumption of the school session on October 3,” he told reporters after witnessing the students of SMK Sri Matang receiving the vaccine at Kampung Telaga Air Health Clinic.
He said those between 12 and 15 years old with co-morbidities will also be vaccinated at the same time as those aged 16 to 17.
He said the state expects to begin vaccination for those between 12 and 15 years old with no health problems between October 22 and 26.
Citing data from the Department of Statistics, Abang Johari said there are about 289,200 adolescents aged 12 to 17, or 10.3 per cent of the state’s total population.
Those between 16 and 17 years old numbering about 96,400 or 3.4 per cent while those aged 12 to 15 number 192,800 or 6.9 per cent of the state’s population.
The adolescent vaccination programme will be carried out at Covid-19 vaccination centres, schools and clinics identified by the Divisional Health Offices and the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).
Abang Johari said the medical personnel from the Divisional Health Offices will go to rural schools to vaccinate the adolescents.
He urged parents to extend their cooperation by bringing their children, who are qualified, to the vaccination centres and health clinics.
Among those accompanying the chief minister were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, Assistant Minister of Utilities Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and state Health director Datuk Dr Mohamed Sapian Mohamed.