KUCHING (April 23): The federal government has approved the Sarawak government’s request to purchase its own Covid-19 vaccines for the use of the people of the state, according to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah, who is also the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said the approval was given during his meeting with Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin in Putrajaya recently.
Following that, he said the State Covid-19 Advisory Group (SCOVAG) was given the responsibility to discuss the purchase with vaccine suppliers.
“We are now discussing the matter with the relevant authorities to sort out how we want to purchase it (the vaccines). It will be used as reserve in case there is any problem with the supply from the federal government,” he said.
He said this to reporters after observing the implementation of the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for the Kuching division at Stadium Perpaduan Petra Jaya here today.
A total of 1,278 individuals from high-risk groups and senior citizens aged 60 and above were scheduled to receive the vaccine at the stadium today.
On March 18, Uggah was reported as saying that the Sarawak government had sent a letter to the federal government regarding its intention to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for the state.
Meanwhile, Uggah said he hopes that the federal government could accept the registration for the immunisation programme done manually by residents in rural areas of the state.
He said a lot of rural folk do not have smartphones which they can use to register via the MySejahtera application, hence the manual registration at district or resident offices.
“We have also asked those in rural areas to register using the district or resident office’s phone. When they receive the appointment notification, the office will contact the recipient,” he said.
A total of 929,435 individuals are being targeted to receive the vaccine under the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in Sarawak, which began on Monday.