Labuan looks beyond herd immunity

LABUAN: Now that Labuan has achieved herd immunity against Covid-19, the federal territory is preparing to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17 years once the Federal Government gives the go-ahead.

Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari(pix) said a comprehensive vaccination rollout plan had been drawn up to achieve almost 100 per cent immunity for the island’s estimated 103,000 population.

“We are ready to offer vaccine to children of 12 to 17 years; waiting for the nod from the Federal Government,” he told Bernama today.

On July 27, Labuan completed fully vaccinating 80 per cent of its adult population to become the first among federal territories and states in the country to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19.

By July 29, the federal territory had immunised 56,471 or 82.44 per cent of the 68,500 adults listed as eligible for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (Pick).

Also, as of July 29, at least 97.08 per cent or 66,500 of the total 68,500 adults had received the first dose of the vaccine.

Dr Ismuni said a vaccination mop-up programme for unvaccinated villagers 18 years and above was being carried out in collaboration with the people’s representative council [Majlis Perwakilan Penduduk] and village chiefs.

“A healthcare mobile team formed recently will continue with a house-to-house vaccination exercise for bedridden patients, the elderly and persons with disability (PwD),” he said.

Dr Ismuni said experienced counsellors would soon provide advice on the benefits of vaccination to the fence-sitters and those hesitant to get immunised against Covid-19.

“We are determined to educate between five and 10 per cent of local folks who are ‘on the fence’ about vaccination. We believe there are still those who are doubtful about vaccination. Although it is not a mandatory exercise, we are looking into achieving the almost 100 per cent herd immunity target. There should be more engagement sessions with these people,” he said.

Dr Ismuni also said that cooperation would be established with the various industry players and business premise owners on vaccination for their employees, both local and foreigners. -Bernama