SAF recruits can receive first dose before enlistment

This is part of SAF’s measures to defend itself against COVID-19.

Low Jia Ying

Can be found watching true crime documentaries or tending to my growing collection of houseplants.

Published: 1 July 2021, 11:51 AM

As part of the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) range of measures to protect itself from COVID-19, National Service enlistees can now receive their first dose of the vaccine before starting Basic Military Training.

Vaccinations remain voluntary, but the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) has arranged virtual engagement sessions with pre-enlistees and their parents to allay any concerns and to answer any questions they may have about the vaccine.

Pre-enlistees will also have to undergo a COVID-19 swab test on the day of their enlistment, in order to detect any positive cases quickly. 

There will also be reduced seating capacity on the ferry to Pulau Tekong.

More than 90 per cent of the current BMT batch who enlisted on Jun 29 received their first dose at Selarang Camp.

Currently, more than 90 per cent of SAF and Ministry of Defence personnel have received their first dose.

About 92 per cent of personnel will be expected to be fully vaccinated by the second week of July, meaning that the SAF will have achieved herd immunity.

Other safety measures

In order to ensure the safety of personnel and the SAF, safety measures have also been put in place.

Firstly, trainers who interact with different groups of recruits will have to undergo routine testing every seven days.

Since Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) started in May, recruits have also been placed on a “Stay Home Restriction Order” during their book-outs. This means that they are only allowed to leave their homes for essential activities and must inform their commanders when they do so.

During training, any suspected COVID-19 cases will also undergo a swab test and be sent home immediately. The suspected case’s group will also be ring-fenced and isolated until the swab test results are out.

Recruits are also instructed to immediately inform their commanders if they were in close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case.

TraceTogether tokens have also also been issued to all recruits and staff on Pulau Tekong to enable faster contact tracing.

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