Singapore has made good progress with more than 60,000 individuals received their first dose of the vaccine as of yesterday (22 Jan), Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in an update. These individuals include staff working in healthcare, nursing home, frontline and essential services, as well as seniors in nursing homes.
39 staff at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) have also received their second dose of the vaccine. This means they have completed the full vaccination regimen. In 2 weeks’ time, they will have built up maximum protection against COVID-19.
With the good progress made, our vaccination programme has got off to a good start. Just on Jan 20 alone, Singapore vaccinated more than 10,000 people.
These numbers are expected to rise substantially in the coming weeks as we continue to ramp up our vaccination operations safely, Mr Gan said.
Vaccination for seniors
This week, residents in nursing homes have started to receive their vaccinations. Mr Gan said seniors in the community will also be able to receive their vaccines very soon.
Vaccination for seniors will commence from 27 January 2021 with pilots in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar, where larger numbers of our seniors reside.
Mr Gan explained that the aim of these pilots is to enable the team to iron out all the operational processes before scaling up nationwide. From mid-February 2021, vaccinations will be progressively extended to seniors across the island.
More vaccination centres will be set up over the next few weeks to ensure that all seniors can conveniently receive their vaccinations at a centre near to where they live. These vaccination centres will be located in high population catchment areas and/or along public transport routes for greater accessibility.
Help for seniors in making appointment
All seniors will receive personalised letters inviting them to make an appointment for their vaccinations. Community volunteers from the People’s Association, as well as our Silver Generation Ambassadors will be conducting house visits and tapping on existing grassroots events, to answer queries and help our seniors to book an appointment if necessary.
Seniors will also be provided with information sheets with more details on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination process. They will be able to make appointments online, or they can also visit selected Community Centres near them to book an appointment in-person.
Seniors requiring further assistance may also call the MOH hotline at 1800-333-9999.
Upcoming delays in shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines
There will be some upcoming delays to the shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines due to Pfizer’s manufacturing plant upgrading, Mr Gan said.
“This is the first time that we are seeing (vaccine shipment) delays, as a result of the manufacturing plant being renovated and upgraded. They will be other reasons for delays in time to come,” said Mr Gan.
Mr Gan urged Singaporeans to make “early” appointments when their turn to be vaccinated came. “Please do make an appointment early, because there will always be a possibility of a disruption as we go along.”