KUCHING: It was a proud moment for 10-year-old Ivann Muammar Imaan when he became the first child in Sarawak to receive the Covid-19 jab under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids).

The SK Green Road pupil was among 30 children selected to kick off the state-level PICKids at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here yesterday.

“I felt a little nervous but I’m happy to be vaccinated. I’m also excited to get the second dose later.

“I want to be vaccinated so that I can travel.

“I read about the benefits of vaccination in the news,” he said when met after getting the jab.

Ivann also said he would tell his friends not to be afraid of getting vaccinated.

“It only hurt a little,” he added.

The first jab: Ivann getting vaccinated at the launch of PICKids at SGH in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The StarThe first jab: Ivann getting vaccinated at the launch of PICKids at SGH in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

His mother Dayang Syafiza Abang Ya’kub, a nurse at SGH, said she was in favour of vaccination for children as it would put them at less risk of Covid-19 infection.

“We shouldn’t just want protection for adults, we want our children to be protected too.

“Yes, there are standard operating procedures but they may not be strictly complied with all the time.

“When our children are vaccinated, the protection will be in their bodies,” she said.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said 272,500 children or 9.6% of Sarawak’s population were eligible for PICKids.

He said the state aimed to give the first dose to 70% of the children within two months from now, while 80% of those who had received the first dose were targeted to complete their vaccination within six months.

“Vaccination for children with comorbidities will be carried out at public and private hospitals throughout Sarawak,” he told reporters after launching the state-level PICKids.

Starting tomorrow, school-going children will be given their jabs at their respective schools or designated vaccination centres.

“The vaccination will be done according to appointments at the schools.

“We are coordinating with the state Education Department to plan how to reach out to parents,” said Uggah.