BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The health ministry has administered 15,338 booster shots to frontline workers and senior citizens, equivalent to 3.6 percent of Brunei’s population. 

Health Minister YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Isham Hj Jaafar said getting a third vaccine dose is recommended, as studies show waning immunity six months after the second jab.

The government is currently prioritising frontliners and the elderly for booster jabs, before extending the rollout to the general public.

As of Sunday, 94 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 82 percent is fully vaccinated.

With the expansion of the vaccination programme to young children and rollout of boosters to the public, the minister was asked whether Brunei’s current supply of vaccines is sufficient to meet needs.

InshaAllah our vaccines are enough if plans go ahead, such as the delivery from the relevant countries,” he said during the daily COVID briefing.

Earlier in the week, the minister said MoH was in talks with Pfizer to procure additional supply of vaccines for children aged 5-11.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Isham said children will be given a third of the adult dosage – two 10-microgram doses spaced 21 days apart. 

So far, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorised to be used in children (5-11) and adolescents (12-17). Pfizer’s data shows its vaccine is 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID in children.

Vaccinating students is a key part of the government’s plans to resume face-to-face learning next year, with schools closed since August due a second wave of coronavirus which has caused 14,691 infections and 57 deaths.