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Brunei
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Brunei
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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    Pfizer bivalent vaccine soon to be available in Brunei

    James Kon

    In addition to the availability of the Moderna bivalent vaccine as a booster dose for individuals aged 18 years and above, Brunei Darussalam has also managed to secure Pfizer bivalent vaccine which is expected to arrive in early 2023.

    This was said by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at a press conference yesterday.

    He said, “As was announced on November 21, the Moderna bivalent vaccine is now available as part of the National COVID-19 Vaccination programme, as a booster dose for those aged 18 years and above.”

    He added, “Pfizer bivalent vaccine is also expected to reach Brunei shores in the early part of 2023.

    “Both types of bivalent vaccine are updated to target not only the original ancestral strain but also the latest variants derived from Omicron.”

    He said these bivalent vaccines can provide better protection against newer COVID-19 variants, which studies have shown to increase protection against severe disease by 30 to 50 per cent, compared to the first-generation vaccines.

    Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the press conference.PHOTO: JAMES KON
    The number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported in Brunei Darussalam since February 2022.PHOTO: MOH

    The minister reassured the public that both Moderna and Pfizer bivalent vaccines “are proven to be safe and effective” and have been approved for use by the Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority (BDMCA) and other regulatory agencies from other countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Singapore.

    In light of the availability of both bivalent vaccines, the minister encouraged eligible members of the public to get the booster to maximise protection against COVID-19.

    Those who wish to get the bivalent vaccine booster whether as their third or fourth dose can book their vaccination slot via the BruHealth app.

    The minister also said the bivalent vaccines are only offered to those aged 18 years and above.

    However, the Ministry of Health (MoH) via the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Committee will continue to review emerging evidence on the safety and efficacy of bivalent vaccines in younger age groups and update recommendations from time to time.

    Meanwhile, the Sultanate continues to see a decreasing trend of reported COVID-19 cases with 255 cases per day, compared to 332 cases in the previous week, said the minister.

    He also said, “The trend of influenza cases and influenza-like infections continues to show a decrease after it was stabilised in the past week. Therefore, these statistics will no longer be shared in the COVID-19 press conference.”

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