'Fully vaccinated' status expires after 365 days, MOH to review this as more data becomes available

365 days was set as an 'interim' duration for individuals' 'fully vaccinated' status.

Nigel Chua | November 12, 2021, 10:50 AM

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that it would review "the stipulated timeframe" — currently set at 365 days — for vaccinated individuals' "fully vaccinated" status when more data becomes available.

MOH's Deputy Director of Medical Services (Public Health Group), Derrick Heng, said this in a reply to a forum letter published by The Straits Times on Nov. 10.

The Nov. 10 letter highlighted that "a person's fully vaccinated status expires 365 plus 14 days after the second dose", and pointed to the relevant regulations.

The first schedule of the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations 2021. Screenshot via sso.agc.gov.sg.

These regulations were first enacted in Apr. 2021, and allow those who are vaccinated to have a "cleared status" and be exempted from pre-event testing for activities such as weddings, live performances, sports and business events, as well as religious gatherings.

However, this definition of "cleared status" is also used for regulations on dining in, sports and recreation, and other activities in the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

The vaccines listed in the regulations' first schedule all have an expiry date set at the 365th day after one obtains "fully vaccinated" status. They are:

  • Tozinameran (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 vaccine or Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine)
  • Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine
  • Covishield COVID‑19 vaccine or Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca COVID‑19 vaccine)
  • Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID‑19 vaccine
  • Sinopharm COVID‑19 vaccine
  • Sinovac‑Coronavac COVID‑19 vaccine
  • Covaxin COVID‑19 vaccine

MOH confirms that vaccination status expires after 365 days

MOH's reply confirmed that the ministry had "in the interim specified a duration of 365 days in the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations 2021".

This was because studies on the Covid-19 vaccines's protection are still ongoing.

This, MOH said, was done "to allow persons who have completed the primary series of their vaccinations to be exempted from vaccination-differentiated safe management measures".

"As more data becomes available, including on the increase in protection provided by booster doses, the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination will study the evidence and make its recommendations, and the Ministry of Health will review the stipulated timeframe," said MOH's reply.

MOH: All eligible vaccinated persons should get boosters

MOH also pointed to the fact that the vaccines' protection against infection will wane over time, even though "two doses of the mRNA vaccines provide excellent protection against severe disease".

"Hence the Ministry of Health recommends that all eligible vaccinated persons receive their booster doses to improve their protection against Covid-19 infection and reduce transmission," said the ministry's reply.

Singapore's booster programme commenced on Sep. 15, for persons aged 60 and above.

Last month, booster shots were extended to healthcare and frontline Covid-19 workers who have completed their vaccination regimen with two doses at least six months ago, as well as those 30 and above.

Since Nov. 1, those 30 and above can walk into any Moderna vaccination centre to receive their booster shot.

Top photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash.