Healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) will be the first to receive doses of Covid-19 vaccination exercise in Singapore. Starting on Dec 30, workers at other public healthcare institutions as well as private healthcare providers will follow in the subsequent weeks.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the next line will be the elderly, with those aged 70 and above will receive their vaccination from February next year. Other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible for vaccination will follow. More detailed information will be disclosed, Today Online reports.
The Government has accepted the recommendations in full from the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination to tackle the disease. The committee recommended that priority be given to people at high risk of being infected by Covid-19, such as healthcare workers, and those who are most vulnerable to severe disease and complications if they contract the disease, such as the elderly.
“We will start with vaccinating those 70 years old and above as they have more medical co-morbidities, and tend to have worse health outcomes than those aged 60 to 69 years old if infected with Covid-19,” MOH said.
“Protecting such persons minimises Covid-19 related mortality and morbidity, and ensures that our healthcare system will continue to have the capacity to care for the overall health of all Singaporeans.”
Singapore received the first shipment of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech on Dec 21, and subsequent vaccine stocks are expected to arrive in Singapore in batches over several months, MOH said.
The expert committee has assessed that the vaccine is suitable for use in those aged 16 and older. It also recommended that the Government aims “to achieve as high a level of population coverage” for the vaccination as possible, so as to “markedly reduce the overall proportion of the population that is susceptible to the disease and likelihood of uncontrolled chains of transmission”.
“A high vaccination coverage in the population also indirectly protects others who may not be suitable for vaccination yet,” the committee said.
MOH said that while Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary, it “strongly” encourages everyone who is medically eligible to get vaccinated.
“While the current number of cases in the community remains low, the risk for further importation of Covid-19 and community spread will increase as we move into Phase Three and given the global Covid-19 situation,” MOH said. “This is especially important in the face of reports surfacing globally about more transmissible strains.”