BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – More than 80 percent of Brunei residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in the government’s latest vaccination figures that were adjusted to the country’s updated population count.

The health ministry revised the vaccination rate on Thursday after the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics’ (DEPS) preliminary population census data showed a 5.2 percent decline from last year’s estimated 453,600.

MoH had used last year’s population estimate to calculate the country’s vaccination coverage before changing it to 430,000 based on the 2021 census data.

As of Wednesday, 345,754 people have taken at least one COVID-19 jab – surpassing the 80 percent vaccination threshold.

However, the latest vaccination rate may be skewed as it does not correlate with DEPS’s initial 2021 population census data.

DEPS’s population count indicated that only 322,286 adults were eligible for vaccination, comprising 75 percent of the total number of Brunei residents.

This means that the number of first doses administered in Brunei exceeded the reported population size by 23,468 people.

DEPS earlier said the total population count was subject to revisions as it has yet to conduct the third and final phase of the census.

In the health ministry’s revised figure, 55.5 percent of the population has completed their two-dose vaccination regimen as opposed to the previous rate of 52.6 percent.

Brunei is aiming to vaccinate at least 80 percent of its residents before the end of the year as it seeks to restart the economy and shift towards living with an endemic COVID-19.

People register for the COVID-19 vaccine at Lamunin Health Centre, where a mobile vaccination service has been set up for rural residents. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Mobile vaccination services available for Kampong Ayer residents

Mobile vaccination services will be offered to Kampong Ayer residents at Pengiran Anak Puteri Hjh Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Health Centre in Kampung Sungai Asam from 9am to 2.30pm this Friday until Sunday.

The health ministry started its mobile vaccination programme last week to ensure rural and bedridden residents have access to the vaccine.

During the COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday, Health Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Isham Hj Jaafar said 453 people took their first jab during the three-day vaccine drive at Tutong’s Mukim Lamunin earlier this week.

Another 298 people took their first dose when the mobile vaccination team was deployed to Labi last week.

All five new clusters linked to staff quarters

The health ministry reported 156 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising the overall tally to 11,542.

New daily infections have stayed below 200 for four straight days following a record high of 504 cases last Sunday.

The number of coronavirus infections linked to the living quarters of migrant workers continued to grow, with five more clusters detected on Thursday.

Clusters were identified at Kilanas Staff House, Megalift Sdn Bhd, HTB Biltech, Mashor OPS Staff House, and Rani Jaya Staff House.

Majority (29) of the 53 new clusters reported over the past fortnight had been in worker dormitories.

Four clusters were closed on Thursday, including Brunei Shell Petroleum headquarters (Block M) with 92 cases and three household clusters.

The health ministry also confirmed that a 50-year-old COVID-19 patient had died overnight. Her cause of death is still under investigation.

Among the 2,588 active cases, six are placed on a ventilator and 22 require oxygen supplementation in the intensive care unit.