BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The second phase of Brunei’s COVID-19 vaccination programme will begin on June 21, the health ministry announced in a press statement Monday.

Teachers, childcare workers and adults who are at higher risk from coronavirus will be allowed to receive their vaccine under the second phase.

Eligible individuals who wish to get inoculated can book their COVID-19 vaccination slots via the BruHealth app from June 16.

The ministry said it will still administer COVID-19 shots to priority groups in the first phase, including frontline workers, seniors aged 60 and above as well as overseas-bound students.

Since Brunei started its vaccine rollout on April 3, a total of 50,846 people or 11.2 percent of the population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A total of 11,497 people, or 2.5 percent of residents, have been fully vaccinated.

The vaccine uptake among the elderly has been relatively slow since the rollout expanded to senior citizens on April 24, with just 17 percent of the targeted 38,000 seniors receiving their first dose.

On May 6, the health ministry introduced a month-long “opt-in programme”, which allowed those under 60 to get AstraZeneca vaccine due to the slow vaccine uptake among seniors.

Brunei currently uses Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines as part of its national vaccination campaign, with Moderna expected by the end of June. and Pfizer later in the year.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all Brunei residents free of charge.