Singapore

500,000 new slots for vaccination to be added over next few days

With more vaccine supplies on the way, the Ministry of Health (MOH) expects another 500,000 appointment slots in the next few days for people to get their first dose between now and next month.

Those who have already booked a slot for their first dose to be administered in the second half of next month are encouraged to bring forward their appointments, MOH said yesterday.

If supplies continue to arrive as planned, most of the population who want to get vaccinated will have received their first dose by the second half of next month, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, at a virtual press conference yesterday.

REDUCE

Once this target is met, MOH will review the current six-to-eight-week interval between doses. It should be reduced to four weeks.

The authorities had lengthened the interval between doses to prioritise administering the first dose to as many people as possible so they would have some measure of protection.

"Once we achieve that, it will not make sense to have people continue to wait six to eight weeks until August or beyond for the second doses," said Mr Ong.

He said this shortening of the interval means people who have received their first dose will, at some point, be invited to rebook and select an earlier date for a second dose.

More details of the review of the interval between doses will be announced when ready.

To allow more time for Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39 to make their vaccination appointments, the current two-week priority window for this group will be extended by one week, till next Thursday.

Those who are eligible and have registered for vaccination but not yet received a booking link should get an SMS with a personalised booking link within the next week.

From next Friday, the vaccination programme will be extended to the rest of the population, including all permanent residents and long-term pass holders aged 12 to 39.

On Wednesday, MOH said Singapore is set to receive a batch of Covid-19 vaccines called Comirnaty as the Republic ramps up supplies.

The vaccines are the same as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines currently used in the national vaccination programme, with the only difference being the label.

coronavirus