Booster shots need to be taken within 270 days of the completion of one's primary vaccination series for the individual to continue to be considered fully vaccinated

This story was first published on November 12, 2021, and updated on January 5, 2022. 

Did you know that even if you are fully vaccinated, the period that you are considered fully vaccinated may have an end date in sight?

As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on January 5 that from February 14, those aged 18 and above will have to take a booster shot within 270 days of completing their primary vaccination series in order to maintain their fully vaccinated status.  

This will apply to all those who took their final vaccine doses on May 20, 2021, or before, according to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at a multi-ministry task force press conference on January 5. 

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“From now to February 13, 2022, as long as you have taken two doses of mRNA or three doses of the Sinovac, Sinopharm vaccine, regardless of how long ago you have received those jabs, you will still be deemed as fully vaccinated,” he said.

“Then on February 14, 2022, if your last vaccine dose was taken before May 20, 2021—that is 270 days or nine months ago—your full vaccination status will lapse. So to maintain your full vaccination status, you will need to take a booster vaccine dose before the deadline of February 14,” he continued. 

If you have not reached your nine-month expiry by then or if you are medically ineligible for boosters, you will not be affected. 

The updated policy was announced a month in advance so people have a chance to get their shots done early. 

Additionally, those aged 18 and above who have completed the primary vaccination series and are eligible for a booster shot will still be considered fully vaccinated for 270 days after their last vaccine jab.

It is recommended that they get their booster jab five months after their last primary vaccination dose and no later than 270 days to get the best protection against the virus. 

“Upon receiving their booster, they will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated beyond the 270 days,” MOH said in its press release

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This also applies to individuals who have received recognised non-mRNA primary vaccination regimens that are offered under the national vaccination programme. An example of this is three doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac, three doses of Sinopharm vaccines or other World Health Organization emergency use list vaccines.

As of January 3, 87 per cent of the total population have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines and are fully vaccinated against the virus. 42 per cent have received their booster shots.

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