BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei’s first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in the capital on Friday, three days before the health ministry kicks off its vaccination programme for adolescents.

The first shipment from Belgium contained 58,500 doses, while another 300,690 doses are expected to arrive in the country on Sunday.

More than 38,000 students are set to receive the jab over the next two weeks, in a bid to push national vaccination coverage above 85 percent. The government has granted emergency approval for the mRNA vaccine to be given to 12-17 year olds as the sultanate tries to stem its worst COVID outbreak yet.

MoH has said that Pfizer vaccines will also be used as booster shots for the general public. 

More than 350,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be used in Brunei’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Photo: Rudolf Portillo/The Scoop

Today’s coronavirus numbers

A total of 128 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, including seven new clusters. Four of those clusters were found at staff houses.  

The health ministry also said two COVID-19 patients –  a 38-year-old woman and 57-year-old man – passed away overnight. Both had underlying health problems and their deaths were not attributed to COVID-19.

The official coronavirus death toll remains at 55.

The number of people with active infections stands at 1,303. Six are in in critical condition while eight require close monitoring.

To date, 82.4 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 64.8 percent have been fully vaccinated.