Five vaccine candidates for Brunei announced

James kon

The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday announced five candidates of the COVID-19 vaccine for the country, in an updated version of Brunei Darussalam’s vaccination strategy, themed ‘Bersama Melindungi Negara Kitani’.

The Brunei Darussalam vaccination strategy will be implemented once the vaccine arrives in the country.

Among the vaccine candidates for Brunei Darussalam are: Pfizer BioNTech, which requires two doses at an interval of 21 days; Moderna, which requires two doses at an interval of 28 days; AstraZeneca, which requires two doses at an interval of 12 weeks; Sinopharm, which requires two doses at an interval of 21 to 28 days; and Johnson and Johnson, which requires only one dose.

The updated information of the vaccination strategy also mentions that vaccine monitoring systems have shown there are less side effects compared to other medical procedures, such as allergies to antibiotics.

Most adverse events are very mild and temporary, including pain and swelling at the injection site, dizziness, muscle and joint pains, fever and tiredness. Painkillers such as paracetamol can be taken, if needed.

Brunei’s citizens and residents, including foreign nationals with a valid IC, will receive the COVID-19 vaccination for free.

Distribution of the vaccine 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 staff at childcare centres, adults with co-morbidities and teachers, while Phase Three is for the general public aged 18 and above.

Four locations have been identified for the administration of the vaccine: 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 made through the BruHealth app, by verifying one’s BruHealth account and clicking on the COVID-19 vaccination slot. Individuals are required to read the COVID-19 Vaccination Participation Information Sheet, before completing the screening questions.

The consent form should be filled in next, along with an appointment booking for the vaccination. The applicant will then be given a QR code containing his or her appointment. Following vaccination, any side effects must be reported after seven days through BruHealth.

The MoH also stresses the importance and use of vaccines in Brunei Darussalam. A vaccine protects an individual and community vaccination protects the whole community, even those who can’t get vaccinated.

As more people opt out of vaccinating, the risk of outbreak increases. In the herd immunity, the vaccinated protect the unvaccinated.

For latest information on the vaccination strategy, visit the MoH website at www.moh.gov.bn.