Sarawak kickstarts phase two of inoculation programme in Kuching, six other divisions today (April 23)

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (right) visiting the vaccination centre at the Indoor Stadium in Kuching, where the second phase of the Covid-19 immunisation programme is underway.

KUCHING: Sarawak will intensify its campaign to reach out to the public to register for the Covid-19 vaccination programme now that the second phase is underway.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said so far, 266,197 people had registered for the second phase, or about 28% of the estimated 958,951 targeted recipients.

"It's still low, so we will work out a more aggressive outreach to the people. We will do our best to ensure that all who are eligible will have the opportunity to be registered and given the jabs," he said after visiting the vaccination centre at the Indoor Stadium here on Friday (April 23).

The second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which targets high-risk individuals and senior citizens, kicked off in Sibu on April 19.

Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Betong, Kapit, Mukah and Miri will start today, followed by Samarahan, Bintulu and Limbang tomorrow (April 24) and Sarikei on April 30.

Uggah said Sarawak would finetune the registration and notification process for the vaccination to suit local conditions, especially in rural areas where not everyone has a mobile phone or the MySejahtera app.

Besides MySejahtera, he said registration was also done manually at district offices, which would then be submitted to MySejahtera.

"One problem with registration at district offices is that some don't have a phone. According to the system, those without a phone cannot be registered because the appointment is given through MySejahtera.

"We have proposed that for those who don't have a phone, the district office's phone will be used as the recipient's phone.

"When MySejahtera sends a notification, the district office will then contact the recipient," he said.

Uggah also said Sarawak was working out how to purchase vaccines to complement the supply from the Federal Government to achieve its target of completing the vaccination by August.

He said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was supportive of the state's efforts and had given the green light for state governments to procure their own vaccines.

"We are now discussing with the relevant authorities to sort out how we can purchase vaccines as reserve in case there is any problem with the supply from the Federal Government," he said.

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