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Covid-19 vaccination brought forward for seniors aged 60 to 69; hawkers, teachers also among groups to get jab earlier

SINGAPORE — The national vaccination effort has been brought forward by a few weeks for some seniors and will be extended to more groups, including teachers, postmen and migrant workers staying in dormitories.

Vaccination for seniors at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre on Jan 27, 2021.

Vaccination for seniors at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre on Jan 27, 2021.

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  • Invitation letters to register for the vaccination programme will be sent out to seniors aged 60 to 69 within the next few days
  • The earlier timeline follows the arrival of more vaccine stocks
  • Vaccination will start with more higher-risk groups, including educators, journalists, banking staff, hawkers, cargo drivers and food delivery persons
  • 10,000 migrant workers staying in one of the five largest dorms will also get the jab soon
  • Vaccines will be rolled out to other Singaporeans and long-term residents progressively

 

SINGAPORE — The national vaccination effort has been brought forward by a few weeks for some seniors and will be extended to more groups, including teachers, postmen and migrant workers staying in dormitories.

All seniors aged 60 to 69 will be offered the Covid-19 vaccine before, instead of after, the end of March, as previously announced. 

This earlier timeline was possible because more vaccine stocks have arrived, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (March 8).

Around 596,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been administered as of March 7, the ministry said. In total, about 379,000 people have received one dose, and more than 217,000 have completed the two-dose vaccination programme.

Said the ministry in a statement: “We will continue to systematically extend the vaccination to other segments from April onwards. All Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore will have the chance to be vaccinated.”

Over the next few days, seniors aged between 60 and 69 will receive invitation letters that will contain a weblink to be used to register for vaccination. 

Upon registration, an SMS with a unique booking link will be sent to the senior’s mobile phone to make an appointment for the jab.

Seniors can also book their appointments at any community centre or community club around Singapore, said MOH.

Vaccination for seniors above 70 had started on Feb 22, with more than 55,000 receiving their first dose and another 96,000 making appointments for their first jab over the next few weeks, said the ministry.

MORE HIGHER-RISK GROUPS TO START VACCINATION

The programme will also be extended “progressively to other higher-risk groups, as well as essential frontline workers of critical importance to Singapore, including those who could pose risks to our vulnerable populations and the community at large if they are infected”, MOH announced.

Previously, the ministry had identified healthcare workers and frontline officers, such as security agencies and those working in the aviation and maritime sectors, as groups to be given priority for the Covid-19 vaccines.

With the arrival of more vaccine stocks, vaccination will be extended to postmen and delivery staff, news reporters, bank operation staff engaged in critical banking and financial systems operations, said MOH.

Those with “multiple touch points” with many members of the community, including stallholders and stall assistants working in hawker centres and markets and those in the food delivery industry, will also get the vaccine soon.

For educators and those who have prolonged contact with children and youth, MOH said that vaccination will start with those working in preschools, national schools, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education, and then be progressively extended to other education institutions.

Over 150,000 people working in education institutions will be offered the vaccine from March 10, a joint statement from the Education Ministry, the Social and Family Development Ministry and the Early Childhood Development Agency said.

The joint statement added that madrasahs and international schools with full-time students below 18 are included in this vaccination exercise.  

Others working in these institutions and are in regular contact with students, such as administrative staff, adjunct staff, school-based and community-based student care centre staff, special student care centre staff and vendors working in canteens and bookshops, will also be included.

Vaccination will start later in March for cargo vehicle drivers and other personnel who deliver essential goods into Singapore regularly from Malaysia.

On this group of cargo drivers, MOH said: “Those who are not vaccinated may continue to enter, subject to the prevailing infection control measures such as on-arrival testing and corresponding safe management measures.”

Eligible persons will be informed of the vaccination through an SMS to book their appointments, said MOH. These messages will be sent by the relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry for cargo drivers.

The vaccination will be available at all vaccination centres, as well as all polyclinics and selected Public Health Preparedness Clinics, MOH added.

For migrant workers, the vaccination will start with around 10,000 workers who have never been infected by Covid-19 and who stay in the five largest dormitories here, and then made available to other migrant workers over time.

Migrant workers who have completed vaccination can be tested every 28 days, instead of the current 14-day cycle, MOH said.

Urging those who are medically eligible to receive the voluntary vaccination when their turn comes, the ministry said: “That is the only way we as a society can keep each other safe from the disease.”

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Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine virus seniors

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