Govt prioritises healthcare, frontline workers & seniors for vaccines, no exception for S'poreans travelling overseas for now

No exceptions for now.

Sulaiman Daud | February 01, 2021, 01:05 PM

Singapore's current supply of vaccines are being given to prioritised groups of people, such as healthcare workers and personnel working on the frontlines.

Seniors are also prioritised, due to a higher risk of severe or fatal infections of Covid-19.

At the moment, vaccines cannot be given to people outside of these groups until there is greater certainty in Singapore's vaccine supply.

Could there be exceptions for people with reasons to travel overseas?

Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary fielded a bunch of questions on Feb. 1 from Members of Parliament (MPs), who asked whether "early" vaccinations could be given to individuals with pressing concerns.

Yip Hon Weng asked if vaccinations could be given to people who need to go abroad on short notice for studies, business or compassionate grounds.

Gerald Giam asked if Singaporeans who are scheduled to go overseas for studies or essential business could be prioritised, and Joan Pereira also asked the same of Singaporeans who need to visit ill family members overseas.

Prioritisation of seniors, healthcare workers and frontline personnel for now

However, Puthucheary said the prioritisation of healthcare and frontline workers and seniors will remain for now.

He explained:

"Given the present, short term, limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines, globally, there's a need to prioritise the vaccinations, at this point in time. We have prioritised health care workers and Covid-19 frontline personnel, whose work requires them to be in constant contact with individuals who may be infected."

These personnel include swabbers working in government quarantine facilities, essential workers in the security services, aviation and maritime workers who have a higher risk of being exposed to infected individuals.

Puthucheary added:

"We completely understand the anxiety of Singaporeans who wish to travel overseas for personal reasons or who would like to get vaccinated early.

At this point, when vaccine supplies are limited, we do need to prioritise our healthcare and frontline workers and seniors for vaccination. We are therefore unable to provide vaccines at this time to Singaporeans outside of these groups and seek their understanding.

When there is greater certainty in our vaccine supply, we will consider allowing these individuals to receive early vaccination. We will announce further details at that time."

Top image from MOH's Facebook page.