TAWAU, Sept 7 — The first group of 76,400 teenagers in Sarawak will receive their COVID-19 vaccine jabs tomorrow, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said this group comprised those aged 16 and 17 as well as those aged 12 to 15 suffering from high-risk diseases such as problems with the immune system.
“I have just contacted the Sarawak chief minister… the initial group will be offered to become vaccine recipients. Their dosage is the same as for adults.
“After this initial group, the vaccine will be administered in stages to those aged 14 and 15, followed by those aged 12 to 13,” he told reporters after inspecting the suggested construction site of the temporary field hospital at the old Tawau Airport in Jalan Utara here today.
The vaccination is among the policies agreed by the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) regarding the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s (NPRA) approval for the use of the Pfizer vaccine for teenagers.
Khairy said that after Sarawak, the vaccine jabs would be administered to teenagers in states that have reached the benchmark of 80 per cent of vaccinated adults, such as Labuan, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Meanwhile, he said the ministry was considering an international foundation’s offer to build a temporary field hospital with 108 beds and two operating theatres at the site of the old Tawau airport in Jalan Utara to cater to COVID-19 cases.
“This temporary field hospital should be built within a short period to cater to the needs of the Tawau Hospital’s COVID-19 cases while awaiting the completion of the new Tawau Hospital next year,” he said, adding that the new hospital was 60 per cent completed.
Khairy, who was accompanied by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on his official visit to Tawau, had earlier visited Sri Balung Clinic to present the PeKa B40 award for the clinic’s achievement in conducting the highest number of health screenings last year.