94%: S'pore has one of the highest vaccination coverages if figures based on eligible population

85% vaccinated if based on total population.

Belmont Lay | November 16, 2021, 05:01 AM

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Health Minister Ong Ye Kung addressed a host of statistical questions during a virtual press conference on Nov. 15, including providing figures regarding the relative effectiveness of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as booster shots.

Ong, who is the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, also responded to a common query frequently posed by members of the public grappling with Covid-19 vaccination coverage numbers from Singapore and around the world.

Why Singapore's reported vaccine coverage appears lower than other countries?

Singapore's reported vaccine coverage of 85 per cent appears to be lower than the reported figures in some other countries, which can be as high as 90 per cent or more.

Ong explained that this is due to Singapore reporting vaccine coverage against the total population, instead of eligible population.

He said: "This is because some countries report vaccine coverage against the eligible population, whereas we report vaccine coverage against the total population."

Eligible population is smaller than total population

The eligible population is naturally smaller than the total population.

The eligible population excludes individuals such as children.

With a eligible population smaller than total population, the percentage for vaccine coverage tends to be higher for countries that rely on this method of presentation.

MOH to present both figures in daily updates

Ong also provided a breakdown of the figure for the remaining 15 per cent in Singapore who are not vaccinated.

When broken down, they show:

- 1 per cent of unvaccinated not living in Singapore

- 9 per cent are children below 12 and not eligible

- remaining 5 per cent are eligible but chose not to be vaccinated

94% vaccinated based on eligible population

Ong explained: "So, if we recalculate this based on eligible population, we are around 94 per cent vaccinated. It is one of the highest coverages in the world."

"MOH will provide both figures henceforth in our daily press release to give a fuller picture of the progress of our vaccination exercise," Ong added.

Top photo via Unsplash

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