By S. Harrish
THE AstraZeneca (AZ) Covid-19 vaccine will be available for Sarawak if the state government changes its mind and decides to accept it.
National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Federal Government remains open to it if Sarawak wanted the AZ vaccines.
According to a report in The Star, he said public confidence in AZ vaccines was high as shown when all 268,800 slots for AZ vaccine appointments were snapped up by Malaysians in just three hours.
“As we can see yesterday (May 2) the confidence towards AZ is good … so it is up to the Sarawak government.
“If they decide to accept AZ, after seeing how it is well-received yesterday, I am open to it,” said Khairy in a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Previously, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state would not use AZ vaccines.
Khairy also said the AZ opt-in programme would be extended to the rest of the country with the arrival of another 1.1 million doses of AZ vaccines from the Covax facility this month.
Concerns about the AZ vaccine started after cases of blood clots among vaccine recipients were reported in some countries.
The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply has said the AZ vaccine is safe and its benefits far outweighs the risk it poses to recipients.