40 Covid-19 vaccination centres in S'pore to be set up by end-April: Ho Ching

Three to six vaccination centres will open every week, she highlighted.

Matthias Ang | February 22, 2021, 09:54 PM

By the end of April, a total of 40 vaccination centres will be established in Singapore, each with the capacity to administer at least 2,000 shots a day, Ho Ching said in a Facebook post.

The CEO of Temasek Holdings, who is due to retire on Oct. 1, added that 14 vaccination centres have since entered into operation.

Of these, 11 are at community centres, while three are located respectively at a converted unused school in Hong Kah, Raffles City Convention run by Fullerton Healthcare, and Changi Airport run by the Raffles Medical group.

In summing up the total number of daily shots that can be conducted by all 14 centres, Ho Ching said that this stood at about 30,000.

Three to six vaccination centres to open every week

Around three to six additional vaccination centres will enter into operation each week, including three this Friday.

Ho further said:

"By end March, 30 centres will be up. Apart from CCs and unused schools, they include sports hall, and other large venues like what we see at Raffles City Convention Centre and Changi Airport."

This also means that the daily capacity for vaccinating the public will increase from 50,000 to 60,000 shots a day, she added.

Polyclinics will also add on to Singapore's vaccination capacity

This brought up her next point that apart from the 14 vaccination centres, there are also 20 polyclinics that can administer around 200 shots a day.

As such, the polyclinics add a daily capacity of 4,000 shots.

In addition, there are GP clinics, with a much smaller capacity of 15-20 daily shots for local patients, as well as a dozen mobile teams which will go to locations such as worker dormitories, prisons and nursing homes to help vaccinate residents and those who are immobile.

Possible to vaccinate the entire Pioneer generation in 20-25 days

Ho then struck an optimistic note on the rate of vaccination and noted that the current 14 centres' capacity of 30,000 shots means that the entire Pioneer generation can receive the vaccine in 20-25 days, if everyone signs up.

On this point, Ho noted that both the Pioneer and Merdeka generations numbered at 600,000 each.

She also voiced her expectation for registration to open up for the Merdeka generation, sometime between mid to late March, while those in their 50s can expect to receive invitations for vaccination in April.

Logistics could improve as well

Ho also highlighted a potential easing of logistics given that Pfizer has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to transport and store its vaccine using normal pharmaceutical freezers, instead of current requirements which depend on ultra-cold freezers.

Once this is approved, she said, Pfizer might then approach other relevant authorities in the world to receive similar approval.

As per Ho:

"When these approvals come through, we will have easier logistics handling.

These are the various efforts even as production is ongoing and vaccination programmes are running, to smoothen and ease supply further. "

Here is her post in full:

Top image collage left image from Ho Ching Facebook, right image by Kayla Wong