Vaccines help prevent severe symptoms: Minister

Rokiah Mahmud

To date, some 8,400 frontliners have been vaccinated in Brunei Darussalam, while the resumption in the use of AstraZeneca is hoped to facilitate the first phase of the National
Vaccination Programme.

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

He said AstraZeneca will mainly be offered to senior citizens above 60. “However, those under 60 years can receive the vaccine if they wish, provided that they are aware of the risks.”

On the COVID-19 infections detected among vaccinated individuals in Malaysia, the minister said, “Of the 40 people reported to have contracted COVID-19, nine completed two doses of vaccines in 14 days. However, their symptoms were very mild.

“The main aim is to roll out the vaccine, so those infected with COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. The vaccine helps prevent severe symptoms that could cause admittance to the intensive care unit (ICU) or death.

“At places that still have community spread, the public is urged to wear masks, practise good hygiene and observe social distancing.

“Vaccination is one method to curb the spread of the pandemic. It is not a magic bullet, but it is important.”

On the vaccination programme at the Indoor Stadium, the minister said, “At present, the venue is only open to frontliners including healthcare workers who have yet to get vaccinated, immigration and customs officers, hoteliers and Royal Brunei Airlines employees, who will get their vaccination during this first phase.”

Director General of Medical and Health Services at the MoH Pengiran Dr Haji Md Khalifah bin Pengiran Haji Ismail said, “At the moment, the number of frontliners nationwide who need to be vaccinated is around 30,000.

“Once the majority of frontliners have been vaccinated, we will carry out the next phase for senior citizens above 60 years, by early May, if all goes according to plan.”