KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — About 23 per cent of adults living in Sarawak have received Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, the highest coverage in the country as of November 21.
Only four states and federal territories exceed the national average of 4.96 per cent — Sarawak, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor — with their booster vaccination rates among the adult population at 23 per cent, 17 per cent, 11.6 per cent, and 5.1 per cent respectively.
Terengganu, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Perlis, Sabah, Penang, and Johor only have one to two of 100 adults protected with a booster dose.
Johor has the poorest coronavirus booster coverage in Malaysia at only 0.9 per cent of its adult population.
Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian said last November 21 that 58 per cent of the eligible Sarawakian population have received their booster jabs. The Election Commission has set December 18 as the polling day for the Sarawak state election.
The Ministry of Health has not yet provided data on the number of eligible individuals in each state or on the national level who can receive extra Covid-19 vaccine doses. So far, the priority groups for booster vaccination include those aged 40 and older.
Even as most states have not yet boosted 10 per cent of their adult population, daily booster vaccination rates have started to plateau after a sharp rise from October 13.
Since the first Covid-19 vaccine booster doses were administered on October 1, the number of daily booster shots administered showed a strong upward trend, especially from November 1 to 11 that reported an average increase of 3,816 booster doses administered daily.
However, average daily booster doses administered nationwide have been fluctuating around the 70,000 margin for the past few days.
Even so, this has been a huge improvement in the delivery rate as the daily average boosters administered was 18,978 for the October 24-30 week, 37,419 for the October 31-November 6 week, 64,939 for the November 7-13 week, and finally reaching the recent November 14-20 week that recorded 71,541 average daily boosters.
Daily Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions have been rising in Malaysia, including multiple states, over the past two weeks.
However, Sarawak’s infection and hospitalisation trajectories have been declining in that period, amid its relatively faster booster vaccination campaign compared to other states.