The Covid-19 vaccination exercise in Singapore will begin with healthcare staff at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Wednesday, followed in the coming weeks by those from other healthcare institutions.
As of February next year, seniors aged 70 and above will get vaccinated, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday in a statement.
This is in line with an expert committee’s recommendations that front-line and healthcare staff should be vaccinated first, the ministry said, as well as those most vulnerable to serious complications if they contract Covid-19.
Public health agencies and private hospitals can arrange for the vaccination of their employees at their respective premises.
Seniors aged 70 and up will get preference for vaccines as they appear to have poorer health outcomes than those aged 60 to 69, MOH said.
MOH will eventually vaccinate other qualifying Singaporeans and long-term residents.
The ministry said, “Vaccination is not a silver bullet that can end the pandemic immediately, but it is a key enabler to getting us back to a safer state of affairs,”
In order to mitigate any spread and keep community transmission low, vaccination would complement other “key enablers” such as testing and contact tracing, MOH noted, stressing that only vaccines will be used that meet strict safety, consistency and efficacy requirements.
The announcement comes as today, almost six months after the country exited its circuit breaker time on June 1, Singapore steps into the third step of its reopening.
Attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Zoo have been geared up to boost tourist numbers as capacity limits have been increased from 50 percent to 65 percent of their maximum operational capacity.
Groups of up to eight individuals can now socially assemble, up from a maximum of five, causing restaurants to make adjustments to their layouts to fit larger groups.