COVID-19 vaccine is ‘a breeze’

James Kon

Following the commencement of the Brunei Darussalam National Vaccination Programme on Saturday, healthcare personnel cum frontliners in the fight against COVID-19 continued to receive their vaccine at Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Muta-Wakillah Hayatul Bolkiah (PAPHMWHB) Health Centre in Rimba, Gadong on Sunday.

Among the first to be inoculated was Consultant and Head of Primary Healthcare Services of Brunei-Muara District Dr Hajah Musjarena binti Haji Awang Abdul Mulok.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Dr Hajah Musjarena said, “Today, we have healthcare workers coming forward for the vaccination, such as from health centres, pharmacy, dental, psychology and others in the Brunei-Muara District.”

Alhamdulillah, it felt like any other injection I’ve had before, so it was fine. As healthcare workers, we receive flu vaccines annually, and it felt like that. I completed my 15-minute observation and so far it’s been alright.

“I am a healthcare worker so I want to get vaccinated. I want to encourage others to get vaccinated and ensure we are doing our part to help protect the community,” she added.

“I am sure many in the country have been exposed to other types of vaccination before. There is nothing to be afraid of. The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect our community as a whole. We can only achieve herd immunity if more people receive vaccination.”

Senior Medical Officer at Sengkurong Health Centre Dr Haji Muhd Firdaus bin Haji Mat Daud said, “It is not painful at all. I was expecting worse.” PHOTOS: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: Dr Soe Naing of Berakas Health Centre’s Primary Healthcare Services Clinic gets vaccinated; Consultant and Head of Primary Healthcare Services of Brunei-Muara District Dr Hajah Musjarena binti Haji Awang Abdul Mulok (2nd right) with colleagues; and healthcare workers are all smiles after the vaccination

Describing the experience, Senior Medical Officer at Sengkurong Health Centre Dr Haji Muhd Firdaus bin Haji Mat Daud said, “It was not painful at all. I was expecting worse. I had my flu vaccine last year before Haj.

“As a frontliner, it is important to get vaccinated to protect ourselves and the community. The effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine is more effective or comparative to the current flu vaccine we are administered.”

His message to the public is, “When public vaccination starts, it is highly recommended to get vaccinated, especially people who are of high risk. It’s safe and endorsed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).”

Another to receive the vaccine was Dr Soe Naing of Berakas Health Centre’s Primary Healthcare Services Clinic, who highlighted, “As we are working on the frontline and we are at high risk, it is best for us to get vaccinated.”

“The vaccination is not painful and is like any other vaccine. The public has nothing to be afraid of. Vaccination is the current best measure against COVID-19. We need to protect ourselves and the community,” he added.

The national vaccination programme, which commenced on April 3, will be rolled out in three phases.

Phase One will include frontliners, senior citizens 60 and above, and students studying overseas, said the MoH.

Phase Two is for daycare centre staff, teachers and adults with comorbidities; while Phase Three is for individuals aged 18 and above.

COVID-19 vaccination centres have been set up in all four districts. The centre at the Indoor Stadium, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex is for Brunei-Muara District; Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Hospital in Tutong District; Suri Seri Begawan Hospital in Belait District; and Pengiran Isteri Hajjah Mariam Hospital in Temburong District.