By John Isaac
WITH the Sinovac vaccine being dropped from the Malaysian government’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, the Sarawak government needs to inform the people if this is due to global concerns over its efficacy against new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus, in particular, the Delta variant.
Irene Chang, the Bukit Assek assemblywoman said in the past few weeks, there seemed to have been a massive roll out of the Sinovac vaccine in the state.
“Are all these people who have been vaccinated with Sinovac now as vulnerable against the Delta variant and other more contagious variants as if they have not been vaccinated at all?,” she asked.
In our neighbouring countries in Thailand and Indonesia, she said, there have been reported breakthrough infections among medical frontliners who have been inoculated with two doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
Singapore has also reported leaving out the tally count of their population who were inoculated with Sinovac.
“In fact, even China itself is planning to give Covid-19 mRNA vaccine booster shots to people who have received the inactivated-virus vaccines in the country to increase their protection against the new variants,” she said.
This was reported in international online news (NikkeiAsia July 15, 2021) even though one of their spokesmen has today come out to confirm the efficacy of Sinovac against the Delta variant.
The Sarawak government and SDMC should reveal to the people what is their stand on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine and if there are indeed such concerns, are there plans to offer mRNA booster shots to our people who were given the Sinovac vaccines, especially for our medical and front-line workers?, questioned Irene.
For us to know the total number of people who might need such booster shots, the state government should also reveal the breakdown statistics of our state population who have received Sinovac, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
“This way, we would know where we stand in terms of the percentage of our state population who have received the respective vaccines and the overall level of immunity of our state population,” she said.
With the Delta variant already in Kuching, SDMC should not delay plans to increase the immunity level and protection against the more contagious variants of the coronavirus.
Correct information regarding the new variant should be officially disseminated through the state government portals to combat the many viral messages of the new variants in social media and which might lead to confusion and baseless fear among the people.
The correct information should prompt and encourage people to do their part in stopping the spread of the contagious variant to other parts of the state which might cause further destruction to the lives and livelihood of the people in the state.