First batch of Labuan Hospital frontliners vaccinated

LABUAN – The first batch of 150 frontliners of Labuan Nucleus Hospital received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine today.

The vaccination exercise under the National Immunisation Programme was led by the hospital’s director, Dr Adnan Musa Balidran at the hospital compound and witnessed by Labuan Health director, Dr Ismuni Bohari.

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“It is our objective to ensure that the healthcare frontliners in the critical area of our hospital are COVID-19-free, and this is in the interest of the public and our patients,” Dr Ismuni told Bernama at the hospital’s vaccination centre today.

The remaining 450 frontliners at the hospital will be inoculated in stages from tomorrow.

Several personnel of various ranks from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and Immigration Department were also seen making a beeline for the Labuan vaccination centre at the Membedai Health Clinic today.

The first batch of 4,680 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for this duty-free island arrived at the Labuan Ro-Ro Ferry Terminal on Friday, and the first phase involves 2,340 healthcare and non-healthcare frontliners, local leaders and media representatives.

The first phase will run until April to be followed by the second phase until August (for senior citizens aged 60 and above, vulnerable groups with morbidity problems and persons with disabilities), and the third phase from May this year until February next year.

The immunisation exercise will cover the approximately 103,000 total population of Labuan.

Stop spreading falsehood

Meanwhile an Islamic preacher here has reminded anti-vaxxers on the island to stop spreading misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.

Muhammad Shafei Abdul Ghani said there should not be any dispute over the vaccination exercise, when the number of fatalities due to the pandemic is increasing.

“We must make an effort to curb the spread of this pandemic. This is in line with Islamic teachings which stress that it is our obligation to take preventive measures against the spread of contagious diseases.

“Anti-vaxxers cannot simply reject the vaccines by saying that they contain non-halal elements, unless the group has concrete evidence to support their claim,” he said.

Muhammad Shafie who is also the Layangan Mosque head imam received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at the Membedai Health Clinic today along with a Labuan funeral management team – Abdul Fattah Abdul Hafiz (principle) and Arman Omar (Islamic affairs assistant) from Kompleks Darul Kifayah, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP).

On Friday, Labuan acting police chief DSP Mohd Ibrahim Mohd Ghani told Bernama that action would be taken against any individual or group who use social media to spread inaccurate information on the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.

Mohd Ibrahim said anyone convicted of spreading anti-vaccine propaganda and misleading information could be jailed up to two years or fined or both under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.