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No plans for vaccination-differentiated measures for kids aged 12 and below: MOH

SINGAPORE — The Government has no plans to introduce infection controls tied to vaccination status for children aged 12 and below, Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung said on Monday (Jan 10).

No plans for vaccination-differentiated measures for kids aged 12 and below: MOH
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said that there are no plans to make vaccination mandatory for attendance at preschools or primary schools.
  • The Government has no plans to introduce infection controls tied to vaccination status for children aged 12 and below
  • Its stance is to ensure that all children are able to attend school and take part in as many core activities as possible, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said
  • About 123,000 children aged five to 11 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine or booked vaccination appointments

SINGAPORE — The Government has no plans to introduce infection controls tied to vaccination status for children aged 12 and below, Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung said on Monday (Jan 10).

He was speaking in Parliament in response to questions from several Members of Parliament (MPs) who had asked about such possible regulations for children. 

Mr Ong noted that although unvaccinated individuals are at a far higher risk of falling severely ill, having consistently taken up two-thirds of intensive care unit beds throughout the pandemic, there are now no plans to extend these measures for children aged 12 and below in public, preschool and school settings.

“This is due to a combination of reasons: Namely, children are less likely to develop severe illnesses when infected and we want to preserve, as much as possible, universal access to holistic education for children.” 

Mr Ong also announced that the Government will continue to foot the medical bills for children aged 12 and below who get infected with the coronavirus, regardless of their vaccination status.

This applies to children who are Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who did not travel recently.

Among the MPs who had raised questions about vaccine-related policies for children were non-constituency Member of the Parliament Leong Mun Wai, who sought the Government’s assurance that such rules would not apply to children, at least until non-messenger ribonucleic acid vaccines are made available for them. 

Mr Darryl David, MP for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency, asked if there would be vaccine-related regulations for children should activities outside school campuses such as national school games be allowed to resume.

Also speaking on the issue in Parliament, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said that there are no plans to make vaccination mandatory for attendance at preschools or primary schools, and that the Government’s stance is to ensure that all children are able to attend school and take part in as many core activities as possible.

“As for activities beyond the core curriculum that may pose a higher risk to students, we would then have to consider if differentiated measures will be required,” Mr Chan added.

He raised the example of team sports activities under a pilot by the Ministry of Education, which only allows fully vaccinated students who have taken on-site antigen rapid tests to take part in groups of up to 10.

“But as far as possible, we would like to have our students participate in the core curriculum all together because this adds to their overall social and emotional development beyond their academic development.” 

Singapore rolled out the immunisation exercise for children aged five to 11 last month.

Dr Janil Puthucheary, the Senior Minister of State for Health, said in Parliament on Monday that as of Jan 7, about 123,000 children in this age group have received at least one dose of the vaccine or booked vaccination appointments.

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Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine vaccination children schools preschools

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