With more primary school pupils testing positive for Covid-19, authorities are now ramping up vaccination efforts to ensure that the younger generation is protected.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced today that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for the use of children aged 12-15.
He also updated that Singapore residents aged 40-44 will get their invites for vaccination soon.
During a multi-ministry task force press conference on Tuesday (18 May), Minister Ong said the ongoing vaccination programme has been extended to the schoolgoing age group.
He said the expert committee found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective and safe for children aged 12-15.
This is consistent with what they have observed for the adult population, reports The Straits Times.
Minister Ong’s announcement comes after the decision for all schools to move to home-based learning from Wednesday (19 May), with multiple pupils testing positive for Covid-19 in the past week.
Both the Health Ministry and Education Ministry will provide more updates on this in due course.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), authorities will be sending out invitations to those aged 40-44 to register for vaccination.
They can register online here. Once they have done so, they will receive an acknowledgement text.
Another SMS containing a personalised link to book an appointment will be sent out progressively to invite those eligible on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Health Ministry said this SMS would be sent out within 1-2 weeks from registration. Slots are available till mid-June.
Additionally, Minister Ong also informed that individuals who received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine would have their second jab delayed for 6-8 weeks from Wednesday (19 May).
This is in line with studies by the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination, showing that the maximum interval between the 2 doses of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines can be extended up to 8 weeks.
This decision was made to ensure that more people are given partial protection against the coronavirus as soon as possible.
Currently, the recommended timing for the second dose is 21 days apart for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 days apart for Moderna.
Authorities have once again assured that Singapore is on track with the Covid-19 vaccination programme. As long as supplies arrive as scheduled, we can expect to complete the programme by the end of the year.
As the virus is evolving and becoming more infectious, it is highly encouraged for everyone medically eligible to register for the vaccine when offered.
Partial protection is better than no protection at all.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.
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