Booster Shot Must Be Taken 9 Months After 2nd Dose To Maintain Fully Vaccinated Status
Over the past few months, eligible Singapore residents have been receiving their Covid-19 booster shots.
While the Ministry of Health (MOH) hasn’t made it mandatory thus far, they announced major changes today (5 Jan). From 14 Feb, those aged 18 and above will have to take the booster shot to maintain their fully vaccinated status.
They will have to get their shots within 9 months or 270 days of their second dose.
New booster shot rule enforced from 14 Feb
During a Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) press conference on Wednesday (5 Jan), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced that the validity of one’s fully vaccinated status will expire 9 months after their second dose of the primary vaccination series.
The new rule will take effect from 14 Feb onwards, reported The Straits Times (ST).
Therefore, those who had received their last vaccine dose on 20 May 2021 or earlier will need to get the booster shot before 14 Feb to maintain their status.
This rule applies regardless of whether individuals have taken 2 doses of mRNA vaccine or 3 doses of Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine.
Those who fail to do so will lose their full vaccination status.
Vaccinated individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 need not get additional booster shots for now. MOH will also exempt those who are medically ineligible for the boosters, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Since the announcement comes pretty early, MOH hopes the public will have enough time to get their booster shots before the enforcement date.
Timely booster vaccination is crucial
This policy update comes as Singapore has been seeing an increasing number of Omicron cases. In the past week, there have been 1,281 such cases.
According to ST, Director of medical services Kenneth Mak said that in the worst-case scenario, Singapore could see up to 15,000 cases as the Omicron wave peaks.
MOH also shared that timely booster vaccination is crucial to ensuring optimal protection against Covid-19, including the Omicron variant.
This is because vaccine protection against Covid-19 infections wanes around 6 months after the completion of the last vaccine dose.
The Ministry added that individuals should receive a booster shot about 5 months after their primary vaccine course to maintain good protection.
They continued that it should not be delayed beyond 9 months after the 2nd dose.
Booster shots important to combat Omicron infections
MOH further shared that overseas data has consistently shown Omicron infections to be less severe than Delta infections among the vaccinated.
This is especially so for those who have gotten their boosters.
During the press conference, Professor Mak urged those eligible for the booster shots to get them as soon as possible.
He added that it is important to mitigate the risks of waning antibody levels that occur over time and boost vaccine protection.
He also pointed out that Singapore is still recording Delta infections.
Book your booster shot slots soon
This new policy, once in place, will affect individuals’ access to vaccination-differentiated venues like malls, restaurants, and other public spaces.
So, if you have been putting off getting your booster shot, do make an appointment as soon as you can.
For more information and the recommendations of which booster shot to take, visit MOH’s website here.
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Featured image adapted from NTUC Income.