Singapore

1% of those who show up for Covid-19 vaccinations rejected

This is because of concerns about allergies and other conditions which could make them ineligible

About 1 per cent of people who turned up for their Covid-19 vaccinations were rejected because of concerns about allergies and conditions that could make them ineligible to receive the jab.

And close to 98 per cent of people who booked appointments for vaccination in the last 30 days showed up - meaning that about 2 per cent did not.

These figures were revealed by Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament yesterday, in response to a question from Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) on the proportion of people who have been rejected for the vaccine.

Ms Lim also asked about plans to minimise the wastage of vaccines.

Dr Janil said there is no wastage on account of people not turning up for their shots or being rejected for vaccination.

Vaccine appointment bookings as well as the historical take-up rate are closely monitored, and the appropriate number of doses delivered, he added.

Unopened vials can be stored at the vaccination sites for at least three days, and to avoid vaccine wastage, staff at the sites open a new vial only when they have checked that there are people awaiting vaccination.

There are also pre-planned lists of individuals who will be invited for vaccination at the end of the day to use any balance remaining in a multi-dose vial, further minimising wastage, Dr Janil said.

UPDATED

Responding to Ms Lim on whether the Ministry of Health (MOH) has eased its Covid-19 vaccination guidelines, he confirmed that the ministry has updated its advice on eligibility for the jab.

"As an increasing number of people have been vaccinated, we have confidence over the situations in which someone previously thought to be ineligible might now go forward and have the vaccine," he said.

He added that the online systems and MOH's guidance to staff manning counters and hotlines on the vaccine have also been updated. He stressed that individuals deemed ineligible now may be able to take the jab at a later stage.

In response to Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten SMC), who asked if Singaporeans can opt in to receive early vaccination if they need to travel for work and studies, Dr Janil said an appeals channel has been opened since March 16 for Singapore citizens and permanent residents who need to travel overseas on compassionate grounds, or for employment or study purposes.

The MOH will be conducting further studies to monitor and review the extent and duration of immunity provided by the Covid-19 vaccines, he said.

Singapore Politics