Health minister Ong Ye Kung said on Mar. 24 that those aged 80 and above, as well as those with serious chronic disease, can get a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"This is because these groups of individuals have been found to experience faster waning of protection against infection, and to a lesser extent, severe disease," said Ong.
The fourth dose will also be offered to those living in aged care facilities and those with serious chronic diseases.
Ong said that if they choose not to take their fourth dose, their "fully vaccinated" status will not lapse, though he stressed that the additional protection was "strongly recommended", if an individual falls into any of the above groups.
The fourth dose was also previously recommended for the immunocompromised, starting from five months after their previous dose.
Ong also said that there are no plans for the rest of the population to receive a fourth dose.
Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak said that the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccinations made the recommendation to help these higher-risk groups to remain adequately protected against a severe Covid-19 infection, as normal activities are gradually resumed.
No plans for fourth dose for healthy persons in groups under 80
Ong said that based on the current pandemic situation and the characteristics of the dominant variant in Singapore, there are "no plans" to extend the fourth dose to the rest of the population yet.
For healthy persons in younger age groups, data shows that the vaccine's protection does not wane as much over time, and remains sufficient without a fourth dose.
But he added that "it is an evolving situation which we will watch closely".
Top image via Raffles Medical Group/Facebook.
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