SINGAPORE — The vaccination exercise for Singapore’s healthcare workers will begin on 30 December with workers from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) being the first group to receive the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The scheme will subsequently be rolled out to more healthcare institutions in the subsequent weeks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a news release on Sunday (27 December).
“Public healthcare institutions – including acute hospitals, community hospitals and polyclinics – as well as private hospitals, will progressively arrange for their staff to be vaccinated within their respective premises,” the ministry added.
MOH said that it will also start vaccinations for those aged 70 and above from February next year. “Thereafter we will vaccinate other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible for vaccination. More details will be shared in due course,” it said in the release.
These announcements follow the Singapore government’s full acceptance of the recommendations made by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination, which was tasked with working on the country’s overall vaccination strategy.
Among the committee’s recommendations were prioritising the initial supply of vaccines for those at high risk of contracting the coronavirus – such as healthcare workers – and those who are most vulnerable to developing complications from infection, such as the elderly.
Singapore received its first batch of the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on 21 December, with more expected to arrive in the coming months. The government had earlier announced that provisions would be made for all Singaporeans and long-term residents in the country to be able to get vaccinated, free of charge, by the end of next year.
MOH added in its release that while COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary, everyone who is medically eligible for vaccination should take it up when it becomes available to them.
“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. It will complement other existing key enablers – safe management measures, testing and contact tracing – which will continue to be necessary in helping us to mitigate any spread and keep community transmission low,” said the ministry.
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