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Covid-19 vaccination likely to begin in Singapore next year: A/Prof Kenneth Mak

Priority likely to be given to high-risk groups like the elderly, healthcare professionals and other frontline workers

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Singapore — The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Director of Medical Services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, has announced that vaccination will most likely be rolled out in Singapore from 2021.

Speaking at a virtual press conference on Tuesday (Oct 20), A/Prof Mak said the Government may make plans to vaccinate different segments of the population from next year, with priority likely to be given to high-risk groups like the elderly, healthcare professionals and other frontline workers.

An expert panel is studying the various vaccine candidates, aside from determining the details of the prioritisation.

A/Prof Mak said: “We have convened an expert panel of doctors and scientists to advise us with regard to which of the vaccine candidates will be the most suitable for our setting.

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“Many of the candidates will only complete Phase 3 studies at the end of this year… so it’d be more likely that we would be making more plans to vaccinate different parts of our population from next year onwards.”

Singapore is engaging multiple vaccine suppliers and is tracking the studies diligently.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said procuring several different vaccines will help Singapore diversify its risk if a vaccine candidate is unsuccessful.

It was revealed in the press conference that Singapore is keeping its options open by exploring new manufacturers and vaccine candidates. It is also working out details like the price and quantity of the vaccine, distribution channels, the suitability of certain products for certain groups, as well as the possibility of adverse effects.

Mr Gan said: “Some of the adverse effects could only occur over a longer period of time, so we have to bear in mind the potential risk… it’s a balancing between the benefits and the risks.”

When Covid-19 vaccine becomes available: Those at higher risk will get it first

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