By Chew Lip Song
THE Sarawak government should provide free Covid-19 vaccination to all Sarawakians once it is available, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said today.
She added that no Sarawakians should be denied of access to the vaccine and that the costs should be borne by the state government.
“Given that Covid-19 has been a public health crisis and took away more than 300 lives in Malaysia so far, it is thus crucial for the government to secure sufficient supplies of the safe and effective vaccines once it is ready for purchase so that mass vaccination can be given to all citizens to fight the Covid-19 pandemic at the first available time,” Yong said in a statement today.
She added that Australia, India, Japan and United States of America had all committed to providing free vaccination to its citizens.
Yong said it was imperative that the Sarawak government ensure that vaccines procured were not just safe and effective, but also sufficient for all Sarawakians.
Earlier this week, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech announced that the vaccine they were developing had a 90 per cent efficacy rate.
The news was greeted worldwide with relief after the coronavirus swept across the world, infecting over 53 million people and claiming 1.3 million deaths.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the government would adopt a wait-and-see attitude before committing to a decision.
In Malaysia, 45,095 cases were reported as of yesterday, with 304 deaths. To date, Sarawak has reported a total 1,032 cases, and 19 deaths.