Enough COVID-19 vaccines for all Singaporeans, but choosing of vaccination type not allowed
Individuals who have received the vaccination will be given a physical vaccination card too.
More COVID-19 vaccines are expected to reach Singapore’s shores in the coming months, including those manufactured by United States’ Moderna and China’s Sinovac.
The update was provided in Parliament by Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong, who added that there will be enough COVID-19 vaccines for Singaporeans and long-term residents of Singapore by the third quarter of 2021 should all go according to plan.
“The vaccines will arrive in Singapore in batches, given high global demand, especially from countries with high rates of infection,” he said, adding that pharmaceutical companies will also need time to scale up production and distribution of the vaccines.
Last month, Singapore received the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations.
Healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases were the first to receive the vaccinations. Other healthcare workers and staff working in the healthcare sector will receive the vaccine soon, before other frontline and essential personnel.
Some vaccines, such as the one from Pfizer-BioNTech, require two doses to be administered into each person 21 days apart. It will take up to another 14 days after the second dose to achieve the maximum protection against the virus, explained Mr Gan.
Prior bookings required for vaccination appointments
When it is time for the general population to receive their vaccinations, prior bookings will have to be made before people head down to the vaccination centres to receive their shot.
This is necessary because of the cold-chain requirements at the vaccination sites and multi-dose vials of the vaccines.
“It will also ensure operational efficiency and minimise individual wait times,” Mr Gan said in Parliament, He added that more information on making the bookings will be disseminated later.
Choosing of vaccination type won’t be allowed
However, people will not be able to select which vaccine they want. Mr Gan explained that allowing people to choose will “unnecessarily complicate the already complex vaccination programme”.
Allocations of the vaccines will be largely based on the medication indications of the different vaccines and the suitability of the vaccine for different sub-groups in the population. Vaccine availability will play a part in determining which vaccine will be administered too.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved.
Once a vaccine has been administered into an individual, the individual will receive a physical vaccination card. He or she will be able to check their vaccination records online too, added Mr Gan.