KUCHING: Sarawak is looking into the possibility of purchasing Covid-19 vaccines to expedite the inoculation programme in the state, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
The Deputy Chief Minister said this was a contingency plan to complement the supply of vaccines from the Federal Government.
"The Prime Minister has informed that the Federal Government will supply the vaccines needed by eligible Sarawakians.
"However, the Chief Minister has directed our vaccine advisory group to look at how we can purchase the vaccine.
"If we can buy the vaccine to add to what is supplied by the Federal Government, we can speed up the vaccination of Sarawakians," he said at the state disaster management committee's briefing here on Monday (March 1).
Uggah said Sarawak's target was to vaccinate eligible Sarawakians by August.
He said state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian was discussing with the Federal Government as the purchase of vaccines would have to be done through Putrajaya.
"So far, there has been no indication that we are able to get any stock but the effort is being made," he added.
In the first three days after the vaccine arrived in Sarawak on Feb 25,8, 323 people have been vaccinated in nine of the 12 administrative divisions in the state.
The first phase of the vaccination programme runs from Feb 26 to March 31, covering 97,161 frontliners.
The second phase in April and May will cover 956,435 elderly and high-risk individuals, while the third phase from May to August will be for 999,834 individuals above the age of 18.