SIBU (April 20): Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) coordinator Dr Annuar Rapaee has taken the state Health Department to task for the confusion over day two of the Covid-19 immunisation programme at the Sibu Indoor Stadium here today.
In pointing out that the programme was cancelled and not postponed, he explained that the Sibu Divisional Health Office (DHO) was promised extra vaccines, Sinovac, by the department on top of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines administered at the stadium yesterday.
He told The Borneo Post that it was not a shortage of vaccine that led to the cancellation as reported by an online news portal but the department did not deliver the extra vaccines as promised.
“Initially, it was planned as a one-day event (at Sibu Indoor Stadium) where those who had registered via MySejahtera were called to receive the vaccine on April 19. The number of recipients was over 900.
“Later, DHO was promised extra vaccines. With that promise, The department requested for recruitment of senior citizens from high risk groups at two health clinics here, namely Lanang Health Clinic and Oya Health Clinic.
“Then, the biggest blunder happened when Oya Health Clinic opened up the recruitment to other members of the public. And this was not the initial instruction given by the department.
“To make things worse, the department later retracted the promise because no Sinovac vaccine was available,” explained Dr Annuar, who is Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing.
He added: “I have asked Oya Health Clinic to make a public apology for their blunder as it has caused confusion among members of the public.”
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In this regard, the Nangka assemblyman reiterated that it was a cancellation and not a postponement of the event.
“And the cancellation was made because the initial extra (vaccines) promised by JKNS was not able to be delivered,” he stressed.
He also advised the public to continue complying with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to break the chain of Covid-19 infection.
Earlier today, SDDMC said in a statement that the second phase of the national Covid-19 immunisation programme here today had been postponed as vaccine supplies have yet to be received.
The committee said those who have registered for vaccination will be informed on the change of date through MySejahtera for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the programme.
“They can also check their change of dates with their nearest health clinic counters, through the district office, or their community leaders,” added the statement.