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Govt to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations for those below 16 ‘once approval for use is granted’: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE — The Government will roll out vaccinations for children under 16 years old once approval for use is granted, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced on Sunday (May 16).

Govt to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations for those below 16 ‘once approval for use is granted’: Chan Chun Sing
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SINGAPORE — The Government will roll out vaccinations for children under 16 years old once approval for use is granted, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced on Sunday (May 16).

Mr Chan, who took over the education portfolio on Saturday, was writing on Facebook shortly after the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that seven primary schools will implement home-based learning from Monday until the end of the current school term.  

MOE’s move comes as more cases of Covid-19 emerged among primary school students linked to tuition or enrichment centres.  

“As we do our best to keep our students’ learning environment safe, MOE and the Ministry of Health are also working out the plans for vaccination of our students. Once the approval for use is granted, we will roll out vaccinations to those below 16,” he said. 

In December last year, the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination, which was convened to recommend a vaccination strategy for the country, said that pregnant women, anyone under the age of 16 and immuno-compromised persons should not take the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, because there is not enough data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for these groups of people.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are the two vaccines that have been approved for use in Singapore. 

The Straits Times reported last month that trials have begun for both vaccines in children aged 12 and above. 

On Sunday, Mr Chan said that he shared “many parents’ concerns with (Saturday’s) eight new positive cases related to school children”.

He added: “Our immediate priority is to ring-fence the schools with confirmed cases to safeguard the well-being of our students and staff. We are thus shifting seven primary schools to home-based learning till the end of term two as a precautionary measure.”

School-based student care centres will continue to provide targeted support for students with care needs and parents who have difficulties securing childcare arrangements, he said.

Mr Chan noted that from Monday, schools will implement heightened safe management measures.

During this period, “private tuition and enrichment centres should move lessons online”, he said. “We will step up inspections to ensure the safety of students.” 

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MOE Covid-19 vaccination coronavirus schools tuition centres Chan Chun Sing

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