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3 factors vital to success of Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in Singapore

With Singapore set to embark on its Covid-19 vaccination exercise in the near future, several challenges are expected to surface.

3 factors vital to success of Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in Singapore

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech will be the first to be made available in Singapore.

Khairul Dzakirin Rusli

With Singapore set to embark on its Covid-19 vaccination exercise in the near future, several challenges are expected to surface.

I put forward the following considerations to optimise the vaccination exercise:

1.   Trust

Establishing trust among stakeholders is key to any vaccination exercise.

This can be developed through transparent dissemination of information, such as communicating key decision-making processes in approving a vaccine candidate, reporting major adverse events to the community promptly, and dealing with misinformation quickly.

2.   Accessibility

As our experience with face masks and TraceTogether token distributions has shown, we must anticipate a surge in demand and anxiety when the vaccination exercise begins.

We should, therefore, consider testing the processes and management of vaccination exercises as part of pilots. 

We should also consider how segments of the population that are harder to reach could receive the vaccine, while adhering to cold-chain requirements

For instance, a review of the literature on influenza vaccination among older adults in Singapore suggests a multi-component approach that includes community outreach programmes, reminder calls and home-visit vaccinations. 

3.   Communication

Clear and comprehensive communication should also be considered. This could include highlighting the common side-effects and when to seek medical help. 

The concept of herd immunity should also be explained, to alleviate anxiety for those who may not be able to get the vaccine, such as children or immuno-compromised individuals

Finally, the possibility of the need for future doses should also be communicated early.

All in all, a vaccination exercise is not without its challenges and, as a nation, we should all work together.

ABOUT THE WRITER:

Mr Khairul Dzakirin Rusli is a PhD candidate and research assistant at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

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Covid-19 coronavirus coronavirus vaccine communication health

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