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Booster jab programme to be accelerated, emerging scientific view that Covid-19 vaccination should be 3-dose regime: Ong Ye Kung

SINGAPORE — All eligible residents will soon be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccine booster starting from five months after the completion of their first two doses, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Nov 20), and SMS invitations will be sent to them by phone before that.

Booster jab programme to be accelerated, emerging scientific view that Covid-19 vaccination should be 3-dose regime: Ong Ye Kung

People waiting to get immunised against Covid-19 at a vaccination centre.

SINGAPORE — All eligible residents will soon be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccine booster starting from five months after the completion of their first two doses, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Nov 20), and SMS invitations will be sent to them by phone before that.

This will give people more flexibility in planning and getting their booster shots in a timely manner, before significant waning in protection against the disease occurs, the ministry said in a statement.

MOH is now administering booster shots for people aged 30 to 59, six months after their second dose. For people aged 60 and above, it is five months after their second dose.

At a news conference on Saturday by the national Covid-19 task force, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the clinical and scientific communities are beginning to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccination should be a three-dose regime like that against hepatitis B, especially with the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The co-chair of the task force added that the situation has been constantly evolving with new information and developments on the disease emerging all the time.

As of Saturday, there were slightly more than 59,000 unvaccinated people above the age of 60, down from 65,000 two weeks ago, Mr Ong said.

“Many lives were saved as a result, I think.” 

In its statement, MOH said that the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination advising the Government had studied more international and domestic data, and “it is evident that waning of antibodies can clearly occur by around six months after the second dose and occur earlier for older groups”. 

“(The committee) now recommends that we standardise the interval rate to five months for all age groups eligible for boosters, as this would be an appropriate interval to pre-empt waning of antibodies for all.”

Anyone eligible for a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine may visit any Moderna vaccination centre after receiving the SMS invite, without needing to book an appointment.

“We encourage everyone eligible for the booster vaccination to receive it when it is offered to them, so as to achieve high levels of protection.”

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