Singapore — Starting Feb 14, booster shots must be taken within nine months or 270 days, of completing the primary series of Covid-19 injections for a person to be considered fully vaccinated.
This applies to everyone 18 and older who is eligible for the booster jab. Currently, those who are eligible are invited to receive booster shots five months after their last dose. The Health Ministry (MOH) announced the changes on Wednesday (Jan 5).
In a virtual press conference last November, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung had given a breakdown of the vaccination rate in Singapore, which is rated to be among the highest in the world. Around 94 per cent of those eligible to receive the jabs have been vaccinated.
The new rule requiring the booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated will apply to those who took their second or final vaccine dose last May 20 lor earlier, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at a multi-ministry task force press conference. [THIS WAS WEDNESDAY?]
“Then on Feb 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 Feb 14,” he added.
As a percentage of Singapore’s total population, 85 per cent have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Of the other 15 per cent, 9 per cent are children younger than 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated. Another 1 per cent do not live ihere. The remaining 5 per cent are eligible for Covid-19 jabs, but have chosen not to.
The Health Ministry said international data shows that minus the booster, protection against the Omicron variant is weaker than against the Delta variant, while boosters provide greater protection against infection and severe illness from Omicron.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) extended authorisation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for children 5-11 years in December 2021, with inoculations scheduled to begin before 2022.
MOH said that Phase 3 clinical trials of the BioNTech paediatric dose vaccine (at 10 micrograms or one-third the adult dosage) in children aged 5-11 years show about a 90-per-cent reduction in the risk of symptomatic infection, said MOH. But these trials involved infections from July to August 2021, so the results only reflect the vaccine’s efficacy against the Delta variant only.
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