Singapore healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases will receive Covid-19 vaccination starting on Dec. 30, 2020.
The vaccination programme will be pushed out to more public and private hospitals and healthcare institutions in the coming weeks.
Free for all Singaporeans
A 14-member expert committee made the recommendation that front-line and healthcare workers and those most vulnerable to severe complications if they contract Covid-19 should be vaccinated first, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday, Dec. 27.
The elderly will be vaccinated from February 2021.
This will be followed by other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible, said the MOH.
MOH said: "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."
Priority for some individuals
The committee noted that Covid-19 patients aged 70 and older have worse health outcomes than those aged 60 to 69.
Protecting older people minimises Covid-19-related mortality and morbidity, and prevents a potential strain on the healthcare system.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which arrived in Singapore earlier this month, is suitable for use in people aged 16 and older for the prevention of Covid-19, according to the committee after its assessment of the vaccine.
However, vaccination is not recommended for pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.
Other measures remain in place
Ongoing public health measures, such as safe distancing, mask wearing and good hand hygiene should continue to be practised.
This has to be continued until a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated and more data is available on the vaccine's duration of protection and its ability to prevent infections.
Top photo via Unsplash