Labuan first among territories and states in Malaysia to hit 'herd immunity'

Malaysia has so far vaccinated around 37 per cent of the population with one dose.
Malaysia has so far vaccinated around 37 per cent of the population with one dose.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - The Labuan federal territory (FT) on Tuesday (July 27) became the first among Malaysia's three FTs and 13 states to reach 'herd immunity' with 80 per cent of its adult population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Bernama news agency reported.

The territory has immunised 54,800 of 68,500 adults listed as eligible for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), Bernama reported, meaning they have completed two doses of the approved vaccines.

"We are pleased to have achieved herd immunity three days earlier than the targeted date of July 30," Mr Rithuan Ismail, chairman of the Labuan Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force told the news agency.

"The achievement is the success of the people on the island, who are aware of the importance of vaccination against Covid-19, and team work from the task force and committee as well as the volunteers."

Labuan FT comprises the main island of Labuan and six smaller isles off Sabah state and is directly governed by the central government through the Federal Territories Ministry. The territory was turned into an international offshore financial centre and free trade zone in 1990.

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

Malaysian authorities have been racing to inoculate the nearly 33 million population as Covid-19 cases have been hitting records highs in the past two weeks.

Daily Covid-19 cases hit 16,117 on Tuesday, to raise the total caseload to 1,044,071, Ministry of Health data showed.

Malaysia has so far vaccinated around 37 per cent of the population with one dose, including around 17.5 per cent who have completed their vaccinations.

The government plans to fully vaccinate the population by the end of the year.

Malaysia currently uses three two-dose vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

It approved in mid-June two single-dose vaccines, CanSino from China and the US Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Malaysia's two other FTs are Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital of Putrajaya.