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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Sarawak rejects KJ's AstraZeneca vaccine offer

 


The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will not be used in the immunisation campaign in Sarawak, the state’s Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian said.

This came following the federal government’s announcement that special vaccine dispensing centres (PPV) would be set up in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to administer the vaccine to those willing to receive it.

National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he had offered to do the same for Sarawak owing to concerns over its forthcoming state election.

Responding to news reports of Khairy’s offer, Sim (above) said on Facebook last night: “No AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines under Pick in Sarawak.

“Those who would like to have AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines will have to walk into any of the vaccination centres in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Not in Sarawak.”

The last Sarawak state election was held on May 7, 2016, while the next one is due by Aug 7 this year.

Malaysia is in a state of emergency, but this is slated to be lifted on Aug 1, unless a committee advises the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to lift it sooner.

Yesterday, Khairy had announced that due to the controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine, it will be removed from the mainstream vaccination programme.

National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin

Instead, special PPVs will be set up in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor for people still willing to receive the vaccine so they can sign up, due to the high number of Covid-19 cases there.

This will be open to all above the age of 18 on a first-come-first-served basis and will not follow the immunisation programme's normal pool of vaccine recipients.

For the record, the Health Ministry has assured that the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe and its benefits outweigh potential side effects, despite the risk of developing very rare but potentially life-threatening blood clots.

At a press conference yesterday, Khairy said the risk of developing blood clots as a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine is only 0.0004 percent, compared to the 16.5 percent chance of developing a blood clot if a person is infected with Covid-19.

He also noted that the chance of developing blood clots following vaccination is also lower than the effects of smoking or taking birth control pills.

However, he acknowledged that public anxiety over the vaccine and its potential risks should not be dismissed, even though such fears are “not based on science”. - Mkini

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