Prior bookings will be required before receiving Covid-19 vaccinations: Gan Kim Yong

More details on how to make the booking will be provided later.

Jason Fan | January 04, 2021, 05:54 PM

Prior bookings will be required for members of the public who head down to clinics and vaccination centres to be vaccinated for Covid-19, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in Parliament on Monday (Jan. 4).

This is necessary as there are cold-chain and multi-dose vial requirements at the vaccination sites.

Elderly aged 70 and above to be vaccinated from February onwards

In his ministerial statement in Parliament, Gan said that the government will prioritise vaccinations of groups that are most at-risk, starting with healthcare workers and staff working in the healthcare sector, as they work in direct care of patients or in supporting roles.

The government will also prioritise Covid-19 frontline and other essential personnel, including swabbers hired by Health Promotion Board, staff working at Government Quarantine Facilities, Community Care Facilities, and dedicated Stay-Home Notice facilities.

The elderly and those at greater risk of severe disease from Covid-19 will be the next group of people to be vaccinated, beginning with seniors aged 70 and above, starting from February 2021 onwards.

In addition, the government will also prioritise those who are in jobs or settings where the risk of a super-spreading event is high, such as the Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sector.

"This includes migrant workers", said Gan.

The government will then progressively broaden the vaccination programme to include other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible.

Largest vaccination exercise since 1959

According to Gan, the national effort to vaccinate the population will require "considerable resources" to implement, and is one of the government's key focus areas in 2021.

He said that the last time a vaccination of this scale was done was in 1959, in response to an outbreak of smallpox, where over one million people were vaccinated.

Gan noted that although the scale of the Covid-19 effort is larger, the government is also much better prepared.

He said that the government has been planning for this "very early on", and have put in place end-to-end processes, in order to meet the cold-chain logistics requirements for the vaccines.

This is to ensure that the quality and efficacy of the vaccines are not compromised.

More details on vaccination bookings will be provided later

Healthcare workers are currently being immunised at the institutions where they work.

However, prior bookings will be necessary for the rest of the public, given the cold-chain and multi-dose requirements.

In particular, the currently-approved Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will require two doses, 21 days apart, and will take up to another 14 days after the second dose to achieve the maximum protection against the virus.

Gan urged Singaporeans to come forward for their vaccination as soon as their turn comes, so that maximum coverage can be achieved as soon as possible.

More details on how to make the booking will be provided later.

Vaccinated individuals will receive a physical card

In addition, Gan also announced that individuals who have been vaccinated will receive a physical vaccination card.

This card will remind them of their appointment to return for their second dose, indicate clearly which vaccine was administered, and provide brief post-vaccination advice.

Every person who is vaccinated will also have their record updated in the National Immunisation Registry, and individuals will be able to check their vaccination status digitally.

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Top image via National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (photo taken in 2018).