Covid-19 Singapore: Vaccinations Opened for Those Aged 40 to 44, 2nd Vaccine Dose to Be Delayed
Under the new regulations, those who register for their Covid-19 vaccination will have their second dose only six to eight weeks after their first instead of just three to four weeks after. This will take effect from May 19 and has been done in order to protect as many people as possible quickly.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung also added that vaccinations will now be opened to those aged between 40 and 44 from May 19.
This change in strategy aims to give about 400,000 more people in Singapore their first vaccine dose by the end of July. This means that almost all eligible Singapore residents should get at least one vaccine dose by early August this year.
Mr Ong said: "If all goes smoothly, 4.7 million individuals will be covered by at least one dose of vaccination by August (and) this will substantively cover almost all our eligible population."
He added that those who already have their vaccination appointments made for their second vaccine shot will not be affected by the new strategy. However, people can voluntarily delay their second shot so others can get their first dose.
At the press conference, Mr Ong stressed that a second dose is still very important for maximum protection.
“The end point is actually the same. The difference is that...instead of having a good number of people getting maximum protection, we make sure the maximum number of people get good protection,” he said.
He continued by saying that lengthening the time between the two doses will not impact the overall immune response as long as the second dose is still eventually given to a person.
At the press conference, it was also announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use for children aged between 12 and 15. The Ministry of Education will be working with the Ministry of Health to plan the vaccination programme out for this age group and more details will be provided soon.