By S. Harrish
WITH polls looming later this year, Sarawak is expected to be the first state to complete its vaccination programme.
To ensure its population is vaccinated, the federal government has also assured that it will ramp up its vaccine delivery to the state.
National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin assured Sarawak that 4.4 million vaccine doses will be delivered by August and inoculations will be completed the same month.
However, he dismissed this is a political move to garner support.
He said the acceleration of inoculations was to ensure people were protected should polls be called once the Emergency is lifted.
“I can give my assurance to people in the Klang Valley and other states, we will also pick up our immunisation drive across the country,” Khairy said in a virtual press conference today during his visit to the state.
“But a very important point to raise is that this is not a political (move), but a legal requirement and matter of public health. Should the emergency be lifted on August 1 as announced, then by law, Sarawak needs to hold its state election within 60 days.
“With that in mind, there needs to be some form of accelerated vaccination.
“I don’t know if you remember what happened during the Sabah election but if Sarawak is not fully vaccinated by the time of the election, not only Sarawak, but the nation will be at risk of another Covid-19 wave, he added.
With this commitment, he said Sarawak will now receive its full vaccine supply from the federal government, after previously announcing plans to get its own vaccines.
He said 380,000 doses will be delivered each week from June onwards.
Khairy said the government will also set up new vaccination centres in industrial areas and plantations to achieve the vaccination target.