Brunei vaccination to run in three phases

James Kon

Brunei’s citizens and residents, including foreign nationals with a valid IC, will receive the COVID-19 vaccination for free. The vaccination process will be in place once the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in the country.

Details about the COVID-19 vaccination were revealed on the Brunei Darussalam Vaccination Strategy, Ministry of Health website. The vaccine distribution is divided into three phases.

Phase one is for frontliners, senior citizens aged 60 and above and students who will be studying overseas. Phase two is for the staff at childcare centres, adults at high risk and teachers, while phase three is for the public aged 18 and above.

Four locations have been identified for the inoculation of the vaccine. They are the Indoor Stadium in Brunei-Muara District, Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah (PMMPMHAMB) Hospital in Tutong District, Suri Seri Begawan Hospital in Belait District and Pengiran Isteri Hajjah Mariam Hospital in Temburong District.

Bookings can be done through the BruHealth app by verifying the BruHealth account and clicking on the COVID-19 vaccination slot. Individuals must read the COVID-19 vaccination participation information statement and fill the questionnaires, according to the website.

The permission form needs to be filled next, followed by booking the appointment for the vaccination.

A reminder on the booking slot will be given 24 hours before the appointment. Successful participants will be given a QR code containing information of the appointment.

After the vaccination, the individual will need to report on any side effects after seven days through the BruHealth app.

The Ministry of Heath drafted the vaccination strategy with the involvement of agencies and health experts to ensure the COVID-19 vaccination programme’s success.

“The more people get vaccinated, the closer we get to reaching immunisation coverage that provides a herd immunity. This lowers the overall spread of the virus within the population and helps ensure vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated are kept safe,” the website stated.

It is important to ensure that those who are most at risk receive the vaccine first. This will involve looking at factors such as who is most exposed to COVID-19 and who can become seriously ill or die from it.

The process of assessment and the selection of vaccines in Brunei are carried out by the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Committee comprising doctors, scientists and members of the pharmacy. Assessments began in mid-2020.

The committee carried out the assessment which included the need to comply with safety for the use in the community, vaccine efficacy and ensuring identity, effectiveness, quality and authenticity of the product adhering to the stated specification. The committee’s investigation uses data and information obtained from scientific journals, media reports and discussion with vaccine producing companies.

The public can log on to http://www.moh.gov.bn/SitePages/COVID-19%20Vaccine.aspx for information on Brunei Darussalam’s Vaccination Strategy.