Vaccination is COVID-19’s current talking point

The authorities have been doing a stellar job with the vaccination programme, with a steady increase in the number of people taking up the offer to get inoculated.

While I agree that it’s important for people travelling abroad to be fully vaccinated, this may be a problem for people who have certain medical conditions, allergies or have previously had an allergic reaction to an injectable.

In this, I find myself in the above category. However, I would like to be able to travel home to the United Kingdom with my husband this year to see our family, whom we have not seen in nearly two years.

What are the options available for people, who may not be suitable vaccine candidates for some types of vaccine?

Currently, only people in Phase 1 are eligible to reserve a vaccination slot through the Bruhealth app. Will the app be updated, to enable people who would like to travel abroad, book a slot to get vaccinated?

Outbound Hopeful

I have been using this festive month of Hari Raya to catch up with my family. One of the topics that keep popping up is COVID-19.

During discussions, it became abundantly clear that there are some sceptics among my family members, who go as far as to think that the pandemic is a conspiracy. More dangerous is the spreading of information such as “it’s okay not be inoculated” or “I’m afraid of needles”. Some would even share side effects of those who have received the jab – but never positive experiences – as they announced with pride that they would delay getting the vaccine for as long while encouraging others to do the same.

As someone who has received the first dose of the COVID-19, I see these talks as alarming. Sure, I experienced side effects in the first three days, but afterwards, life was back to normal. So to see my family trying to convince others into their false beliefs is both appalling and outright shocking. It is recklessness bordering on apathy towards the current health crisis.

To me, it is better to endure three days of discomfort than months of treatment to recover from the coronavirus itself, or worse, death. On voicing my experience and view, I was quickly dismissed as I didn’t share their way of thinking.

I understand that Brunei is one of the safest places in the world. But there’s no excuse to choose ignorance above knowledge.

I hope this letter would reach like-minded people. We need to educate our family and friends, and sway them away from the thinking that COVID-19 is no big deal and vaccination is something that can be delayed or pass over completely.

A Concerned Citizen