A federal territory in Malaysia today has 80% of its adult population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the first in the country to declare herd immunity.
Labuan has administered the full vaccination regimen to 54,800 of its 68,500 adults listed as eligible under its national COVID-19 immunization program. The island’s COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force, or CITF, and Disaster Management Committee, or DMC, said that it was a difficult task to execute but attributed its success to great teamwork.
“We are pleased to have achieved herd immunity three days earlier than the targeted date of July 30,” Labuan CITF chairman Rithuan Ismail told Bernama. “The achievement is the success of the people on the island, who are aware of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, and teamwork by task force and DMC members, as well as volunteers.”
He added: “The number of people vaccinated in June was lower than 14,000, but it rose drastically to 40,800 in 37 days and (to the figure) today.”
According to CITF, 95.7% of the territory’s adult population has received at least the first dose as of yesterday.
Labuan Health Department Director Ismuni Bohari said residents must accept that they will continue to live with COVID-19, and given this, they have to adhere to health and safety standard operating procedures.
“At least for one or 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.
The immunization drive in Labuan was launched by Senator Bashir Alias on Feb. 27 with Bashir being the first person on the island to get a jab.
Labuan has recorded a total of 9,607 COVID-19 cases and 146 deaths since the outbreak began there.