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A vaccination centre for students at ITE College Central on June 7, 2021. — TODAY pic
A vaccination centre for students at ITE College Central on June 7, 2021. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, June 10 — From tomorrow, Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 can register for an appointment to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today that after registration, those in this age group would be invited to book their appointments progressively via an SMS (short message service) message with a personalised booking link.

Registrants can expect to receive this SMS message a few days after registration.

“However, we seek your patience and understanding that the SMS may take up to two weeks for some, as more appointment slots for vaccination will be made available as more supplies arrive,” said MOH in a statement.

Children who turn 12 this year must have crossed their birthday before they may book an appointment.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who co-chairs the Government’s Covid-19 multi-ministry task force, told reporters at a press conference that there are about 1.5 million people aged 12 to 39 who have yet to be vaccinated.

Singaporeans in this age group would receive a “two-week priority window” to book their appointments.

Recovered patients

From tomorrow, those who have had, or recovered from, Covid-19 more than six months ago may also register for a single dose of the vaccine, MOH said.

This is provided that they are part of a population group already eligible for vaccination.

This group is being prioritised, since patients who have recovered from the coronavirus are likely to still have a strong immune response that has not faded within the first six months of infection.

It is recommended that patients who have been infected with Covid-19 receive a single vaccine dose, based on evidence showing that this would further boost their immunity against the disease.

Parental consent for under-18s

Under Singapore’s vaccination exercise, those below 18 must obtain the consent of their parents or guardians to book a vaccination appointment.

Parents or guardians may register interest for their child or ward to receive the jabs on the vaccine.gov.sg website.

As part of the process, they will be required to give consent for their child or ward to receive the vaccine.

Parents or guardians must accompany children aged 12 to vaccination sites. Those aged 13 and older will not need accompaniment.

Vaccination progress

By yesterday, Singapore has given more than 4.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

About 2.5 million people have received at least the first dose of a vaccine. Some 1.9 million of them have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen.

“That means about 44 per cent of our population has received at least one dose of the vaccine,” Ong said.

“We are now (administering) about 49,000 doses on a daily basis. And we have the capacity to maintain this acceleration of our vaccine roll-out provided our supplies are steady and continue to arrive.”

Right now, only vaccines by American pharmaceutical firm Moderna, and a tie-up between United States firm Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, have been approved for use here.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for those aged between 12 and 17.

Ong said that given this, those who are invited to book their vaccination slots are more likely to get an earlier slot if they go to a vaccination site that offers the Moderna jab.

Overall vaccine uptake has been rising.

About 74 per cent of eligible seniors aged 60 and older, nearly 74 per cent of eligible persons aged 45 to 59, and 65 per cent of eligible vaccine recipients aged 40 to 44 have received their shots or booked their appointments.

Ong added that since the Government allowed those above 60 to walk in for vaccinations without registrations, 11,500 of them have done so.

MOH said that vaccination remains a “key enabler and its ability to help Singapore reopen safely can only be felt when we can collectively achieve a high level of population coverage for vaccination”.

“Hence, we urge everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated, when it is offered to you.”

It added that there will be further relaxations of the regulations — such as for group and event sizes, capacity limits, distancing rules, mask wearing and travel — when a sufficient share of the Singapore population has been fully vaccinated.

This will apply especially to those who are vaccinated against Covid-19. — TODAY

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