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Why were the measures implemented to prevent the unvaccinated from dining-in or going to the shopping malls?

This is simply because the unvaccinated are 14 times more likely to fall seriously ill or die after getting Covid-19 as compared to the vaccinated. Hence, these differentiated measures are to protect them from getting exposed to the virus and falling seriously ill.

In addition, the unvaccinated are likely to require more medical care if they catch Covid-19, hence posing a higher strain on the healthcare sector.

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Ho Ching

For our old folks, the third booster will help to drastically reduce their risk of getting infected in the first place. It also reduces their risks of dying from covid to the risks of dying from flu. Meeting the virus will mostly help to test and make our immune response even stronger. So what does not kill us will make us stronger, said Mdm Ho Ching.  "So we don't need to fear the virus - it's a question of sooner or later, and nothing to fear if we have been vaccinated."

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Employers should not make COVID vaccination mandatory for staff but they may make vaccination a requirement as part of company policy for those in higher-risk settings.

This requirement may be imposed at the point of recruitment or advertisement for new hires into work settings with a higher risk of COVID infection. However, existing staff who decline to be vaccinated cannot be fired.

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COVID-19 will likely be endemic

COVID-19 will likely be endemic. With vaccination, the risk of infection and transmission are low. Infected people can self-isolate at home.

We already have an effective range of treatments which explains the low mortality rate here. Our researchers actively participate in the development of new treatments. The focus will shift from monitoring the daily number of infections to outcomes: how many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on. This is also how influenza is monitored.

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Making Sinovac an available option without compromising on standards

The WHO emergency list focuses on the needs of poorer countries with limited access to Covid-19 vaccines. Its objective is to make vaccines available as rapidly as possible to address the pandemic. It is a risk-based process that expedites the assessment of vaccines for use especially in these countries, where the benefits are deemed to outweigh the risks. Singapore's HSA has a more rigorous standard of assessment.

Allowing the Sinovac vaccine through the private healthcare sector gives people another option without compromising on Singapore's standards.

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Close to 98 per cent of people who booked appointments for vaccinations in the last 30 days showed up for vaccination, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary revealed in Parliament today, 5 April.

Wastage is avoided by closely monitoring the appointment bookings and historical take-up rate, and delivering the appropriate number of vaccine doses to the vaccination sites. Vials that are not yet opened can be stored at the vaccination sites for at least three to four days.

Staff giving the jabs will also check that there are individuals awaiting vaccination before opening a new vial. In addition, there are also pre-planned lists of individuals who will be invited for vaccination at the end of the day to use any balance remaining in a multi-dose vial. This will further minimise wastage, Dr Janil said.

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