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Dr Sim (second left) picks a ‘Black Lady’ watermelon to be distributed to the frontliners and those in need.  —  Picture by Chimon Upon via Borneo Post Online
Dr Sim (second left) picks a ‘Black Lady’ watermelon to be distributed to the frontliners and those in need. — Picture by Chimon Upon via Borneo Post Online

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KUCHING, July 24 — Sarawak will not take up the federal government’s offer to buy Sinovac vaccine as the Covid-19 situation here is starkly different from that in peninsula where the vaccine is waiting for people and not the other way around.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said initially there was such plan when the state was recording high number of daily Covid-19 cases.

The response from federal government then was that it would give Sarawak the vaccine first instead of buying it, he said when met at Programme Peladang Prihatin Sarawak at the Sarawak General Hospital Blood Bank yesterday.

“We are very fortunate now because we have enough vaccines for the people.”

He also revealed that after Friday (July 22) all first dose vaccine recipients would receive Pfizer vaccine as Sinovac had completed delivery of all 2 million doses, but Pfizer had not.

This is because both doses must be the same and Sarawak has no vaccine mixing policy.

For Cansino, he said it has not even arrived in the country and if it does, it would be given to people who could not come back for the second dose.

He reminded the second dose vaccine recipients to wait for two weeks to fully develop enough antibodies against the virus.

“After two doses still cannot be complacent. Be vigilant. The SOPs have to be followed very strictly.”

Dr Sim, who is also Minister of Local Government and Housing, said the vaccination walk-in was a change in policy because those on the MySejahtera vaccination list have almost been vaccinated.

He said walk-in was not allowed earlier as it would cause congestion at vaccination centres (PPVs) and long queues under the hot sun.

Though it is technically called ‘walk-in’ the recipients have to make an appointment by contacting their respective district disaster management committee hotline, and sending their name, MyKad number and address via Whatsapp.

The hotline will then inform them where to get their vaccination, by systematically allocating the people to the nearest PPV to them, said Dr Sim.

He added that Sarawak had vaccinated 79 per cent of its eligible population as of yesterday for the first dose, and 51.4 per cent have completed two doses.

On the Peladang Prihatin Sarawak Programme, he said it was initiated by the state Ministry of Agriculture, to help farmers by purchasing their produce and giving them to frontliners and the needy.

This would prevent wastage if farmers could not sell all their produce, and help to feed the needy people.

“Thanks to the Agriculture Ministry for giving 120 packs of produce to the frontliners as an appreciation. In Sarawak, frontliners have been working extremely hard to get where we are today.”

Among the produce were bitter gourd, pineapple, watermelon and chili. — Borneo Post Online

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