Too early to know if fourth dose of vaccine needed: Minister Ong Ye Kung
Minister Ong Ye Kung answered some frequently asked questions following his announcement on booster shots to be needed for a fully vaccinated status.
It is too early to say if more COVID-19 vaccine doses are needed in the future to stay fully vaccinated, said Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung.
In a Facebook post on Friday (Jan 7), Mr Ong clarified some frequently asked questions from members of the public following the announcement for the need to take a booster shot within nine months of the second dose to remain fully vaccinated from Feb 14.
When asked if Singaporeans might need subsequent doses in the coming years, Mr Ong answered: “It is too early to answer that question. If we look at an endemic disease like Influenza, people take annual vaccines to protect themselves. This is because the Influenza virus keeps mutating so a new vaccine dose is necessary every year.
“So whether we need future COVID-19 vaccine doses, depends on how fast the protection from three doses wanes, and whether the virus keeps mutating.”
Mr Ong also pointed out that Israel is the only country to administer a fourth dose to citizens who are not immunocompromised so far.
Fully vaccinated individuals who were infected with the virus are not required to get a booster shot as their immune system would have “gone through a strong stimulus”.
However, those who were infected while unvaccinated or partially vaccinated would require two more doses after the infection for a fully vaccinated status.
Individuals are encouraged to get their booster shots to restore protection from the virus. Booster shots are recommended five months after mRNA vaccines and three months after the third dose for Sinovac/Sinopharm.