Press Conference on the Launching Of the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19

With the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine injection. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Haji Awang Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Health stated the matter during the Press Conference On The Launching of The National Vaccination Programme For COVID-19.

With the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine injection.

With this first dose injection, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19 to be given to the public in stages starting from Saturday, the 20th of Syaaban 1442, corresponding to the 3rd of April 2021.

As previously informed, since August 2020, the Ministry of Health has made preparations for the implementation of the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19 in the country, which among others include:

- Establish a COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Committee to study, review and evaluate the COVID-19 vaccines available in the market to ensure that the vaccine that will be used in the country are safe, effective and with quality, based on data and scientific studies that has been put forward to date.

- Based on detailed research and evaluation, the Technical Committee has shortlisted vaccines that meet the aspects of safety, efficacy and quality.

- Following the review, the Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority, BDMCA, has granted special authorization for three COVID-19 vaccines to be used in the country.

This special authorization, also known as the Emergency Use Authorization, EUA, is for the prevention of the COVID-19 infection during a public health emergency or pandemic, the purpose of which is to facilitate access and vaccination to combat against pandemics taking into account the high emphasis on criteria of safety, effectiveness and quality. The three vaccines that have been given special authorization are:

i) Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222)

ii) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2)

iii) Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine (BBIBP-CorV)

For the first phase, COVID-19 vaccine injections will be given to frontliners and subsequently will be extended to other groups, according to the phases outlined in Brunei Darussalam's COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. To ensure more efficient implementation of the programme, the Ministry of Health would like to remind the public to authenticate their BruHealth accounts and ensure that personal information in their Bru-HIMS account is updated to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination booking. The Ministry of Health will inform the public when the booking for an appointment of the vaccine is available according to the stages of implementation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health would also like to inform the public that as per the fatwa issued by the State Mufti, the use of the COVID-19 vaccine is "Permissible or Harus" in accordance with hukum syara'. With the commencement of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, the Ministry of Health will implement post-market surveillance and will actively continue to monitor the safety profile of vaccines, as well as cooperate with other international regulatory counterparts to ensure that the vaccines administered is consistently safe and effective to use.

Source: Radio Television Brunei