SINGAPORE: Singapore on Tuesday (June 29) shortened the interval between the first and second doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to four weeks, as part of efforts to ensure more residents are fully vaccinated early.
Previously, the minimum period of time was from six to eight weeks.
This step applies to Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines.
In a press release, the Ministry of Health said that all eligible individuals who schedule vaccinations from Tuesday onwards will be able to schedule the first and second doses at a four-week interval.
Those who have already received their first dose and have their second dose appointments currently scheduled six to eight weeks later can rebook and bring their second dose appointment up to four weeks after their first dose.
The Ministry of Health said they can do so using the same reservation link assigned in the SMS text messages they previously received.
Read: Vaccination against COVID-19 can reduce the severity of symptoms: experts
The Ministry of Health said permanent residents and long-term permit holders in Singapore between the ages of 12 and 39 can also get the vaccination on June 30, before the previously announced July 2.
The Ministry of Health said this is due to the continuous vaccinations received by Singapore citizens and the declining new registrations of citizens aged 12 to 39.
Read: 5 new cases of COVID-19 transmitted locally in Singapore, all linked to previous infections
“This will help maintain the vaccination momentum and make better use of our delivery capacity,” the ministry said.
Individuals can register their interest online at Vacine.gov.sg. After registration, they will be invited to book their appointments via an SMS containing a personal booking link sent to the mobile phone number they registered with. They can book their group of two appointments, four weeks apart, from June 30 onwards.
Over 5.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines given
The Ministry of Health said that as of June 28, more than 5.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
About 3.3 million individuals, about 60 percent of Singapore’s population, have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. A total of 2.1 million individuals received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen.
Read: Benefits of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines ‘still outweigh’ risks: Singapore panel of experts
The Ministry of Health said the “receipt rate” was encouraging. As of June 28, about 76 percent of eligible seniors aged 60 and over, 78 percent of eligible people ages 45 to 59, and 73 percent of eligible people aged 45 had received Between the ages of 40 and 44 vaccinate or book COVID-19. their appointments.
Nearly 80 per cent of Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39, including Ministry of Education students, have received their vaccinations or booked appointments.
Since June 24, about 50,000 people have brought forward their appointments for their first dose.
Health Minister Aung Yi Kung said on Tuesday that the “biggest concern” remained Singapore’s elderly, with 24 per cent of whom had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are concerned that as Singapore opens up, there will be more movement and activity among people, and they are more likely to be exposed to the virus,” Ong said in a Facebook post.
Vaccination for seniors aged 70 and over began earlier this year on February 22, while vaccination for those aged 60 to 69 began at the end of March.
On May 31, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that those over the age of 60 can now go to any vaccination center and get vaccinated on the spot.
Read: The rate of vaccination against coronavirus among the elderly is good, but more can be done, experts say
“So please try to convince your loved ones to go for vaccination,” he said.
“And if you’re young, by vaccinating, you also reduce the chance of passing the virus on to older people and infecting them,” he added.
“We strongly encourage Singaporeans aged 12-39 who have not yet registered and booked their appointments to do so quickly, so that they can be protected from COVID-19 as soon as possible,” the Ministry of Health said.
She added that vaccination remains a key catalyst in the fight against COVID-19 and its ability to help Singapore safely reopen “can only be felt when we collectively achieve a high level of population vaccination coverage”.
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