BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The government is now aiming to get at least 80 percent of its residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this year.

The health ministry revised the previous vaccination target of 70 percent set in January, following the donation of vaccines from Singapore, China, Australia and Japan over the past month.

Brunei’s vaccine rollout has gathered pace since resuming first dose vaccinations on September 16 after a vaccine shortage forced a two-week hiatus.

In the past week, Brunei averaged 7,026 doses administered a day, but below the health ministry’s daily goal of 10,000 jabs.

At the current rate, the sultanate is on track to hit 70 percent vaccination coverage before December.

Some 40.4 percent of residents, or 183,423 people, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the health ministry’s latest figures.

Source: Ministry of Health | Graphic: Dr Wee Chian Koh

During a press briefing on Tuesday, health minister YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Isham Hj Jaafar said Brunei plans to inoculate children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 before the end of 2021 to raise its vaccination rate.

The ministry is still awaiting the arrival of Pfizer vaccines, which were expected to be offered to children and teenagers later this year.

Earlier this month, it was reported that children and teenagers accounted for about 27 percent of the cumulative coronavirus cases.

 One death reported, daily new infections fall for third day in a row

The health ministry confirmed on Tuesday that a 66-year-old man had died of COVID-19 complications, raising the death toll to 30.

Daily new COVID-19 infections fell for the third straight day, with 113 cases reported in the past 24 hours.

Two of the new coronavirus cases were imported from Manila.

New coronavirus cases have decreased every day since Brunei reached its highest daily tally of 326 last Saturday.

Four additional household clusters were detected overnight, bringing the total number of active clusters to 113.

Brunei registered 2,185 active cases on Tuesday after 139 people made full recoveries in the last 24 hours.

Among the active cases, seven people are in a critical condition while 34 require close observation in the intensive case unit.

The overall COVID-19 tally hit 6,813.