MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Labuan the first to achieve herd immunity


A woman having her vaccination done at the drive-through centre in Labuan today. The federal territory has now vaccinated 54,800 of the 68,500 eligible adults. (Bernama pic)

LABUAN: In mid-June, Labuan was facing a full-blown health crisis with a rash of Covid-19 cases and 68 deaths in just days.

However, the federal territory has made an amazing turnaround and has now completed fully vaccinating 80% of its adult population and has become the first among federal territories and states in the country to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19.

The federal territory has immunised 54,800 of the 68,500 adults listed as eligible for the national Covid-19 immunisation programme (PICK).

The Labuan Covid-19 immunisation task force (CITF) and the Labuan disaster management committee described the programme as a difficult task but acknowledged that great team work had resulted in the success of the exercise.

Labuan CITF chairman Rithuan Ismail said a total of 54,800 (80%) of the total population eligible for vaccination have received the two doses of the vaccine.

“We are pleased to have achieved herd immunity three days earlier than the targeted date of July 30.

“The number of people vaccinated in June was less than 14,000 but it rose drastically to 40,800 in 37 days and (to the figure) today,” he said after witnessing an individual getting the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, to complete the immunisation of 54,800 people, at the drive-through vaccination centre at the University Malaysia Sabah Labuan International Campus, here.

Up to yesterday, Labuan recorded a cumulative total of 9,607 cases of Covid-19 and 146 deaths from the disease. Eight cases were recorded yesterday but there were no deaths.

Labuan CITF has recorded 95.7% or 65,521 of the 68,500 adult population having received the first dose of vaccine as of yesterday.

In a move to expedite the achievement of herd immunity, the CITF and the Labuan natural disaster management committee (led by Labuan health department personnel) had extended vaccination to include a house-to-house exercise to cover people with disability (PwD) and the bedridden.

“We also implemented walk-in and drive-through vaccination, coordinated by the people’s representative council, which saw an overwhelming turnout of residents from 27 villages to the vaccination centres,” he said.

Labuan had established nine vaccination centres, including one at the international ferry terminal for workers in the shipping, and oil and gas sectors.

Labuan health department director Dr Ismuni Bohari said Labuan folk must be ready to live with Covid-19 and, most importantly, must continue to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“At least for one to two years, we will have to live with the pandemic. We must ensure our family members and friends are fully vaccinated to protect ourselves against COVID-19,” he said. - FMT

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