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Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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    Sultanate to receive new Moderna ‘Spikevax’

    Izah Azahari

    The Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority (BDMCA) has approved the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the use of the Moderna Spikevax Bivalent Original/Omicron for adults in the Sultanate.

    This was announced by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at a press conference at the Al-’Afiah Hall yesterday.

    The approval is based on clinical data for the bivalent vaccine and follows guidelines approved by drug control authorities in the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, Canada and Singapore, the minister said.

    “The vaccine is expected to arrive in Brunei by the end of the year,” the minister said, adding that about 100,000 doses of the vaccine are expected.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said that aside from the original COVID-19 coronavirus variant, the new vaccine also targets the Omicron variant, making the vaccine more effective in controlling the spread of coronavirus and preventing cases from becoming
    more serious.

    “What is currently available is capable of controlling transmission, but this new vaccine targets current variants, especially Omicron,” he said.

    Individuals who have received their vaccine or booster shot can wait until the new vaccine arrives for their next dose even if it arrives six months after their last shot, the minister added.

    However, he noted that this depends on the situation over the next few weeks, highlighting that transmissions are currently at around 200 cases and there are no cases in Categories 4 and 5, signifying that it is under control.

    “If the situation stays this way, individuals can wait, but if for instance the level of infection starts to rise and there is an increase in Category 4 and 5 cases, it is better to take what is available,” said Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham.

    The minister also revealed that the ministry is still administering the current stock of vaccines while waiting for the new shipment to arrive at the end of the year.

    “What is important is that the original Moderna, although not specific to Omicron, is still able to prevent a person from serious health conditions when they are infected,” he added.

    Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON
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