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Youth react to possible COVID-19 vaccination rollout to younger Singaporeans in June

Youth may be able to book their vaccine soon as Singapore plans to open the vaccination to more residents aged 45 and below.

Sarah Chan
Sarah Chan

Likes museum trips and is sometimes artsy. Can be found in pattern prints.


Published: 6 April 2021, 1:38 PM

On Monday (Apr 5), Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Janil Puthucheary announced in Parliament plans to open COVID-19 vaccination slots for Singaporeans aged 45 and below starting from June. 

With Singapore’s steady progress in its vaccination programme, Dr Janil said that plans to complete the programme by the end of the year are on track. 

To date, more than one million individuals have received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations and more than 460,000 individuals have received their second dose.

With youths likely being next in line in the programme, we spoke to some of them to hear their views on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination openings in June.

Hopes to achieve herd immunity through the vaccine

“In my family, my mother has asthma, so it’s a dangerous time for her right now. If I get vaccinated, I can at least hopefully prevent my mother from getting it, like how herd immunity works.

“Herd immunity is a very powerful thing. In such an environment, a handful of people wouldn’t even need the vaccines, which could be the case for the elderly or young children and infants.

 

The ongoing vaccination programme will help improve overall public health against COVID-19 and allow for the possible resumption of larger social gatherings in Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: BARANI VICNAN

 

“The timing is slightly inconvenient for me as I am studying in polytechnic and I would be having lessons during that period… Even though it could be inconvenient, I genuinely don’t mind spending some time to register. 

“I think it’s important to make it known to people about how to make the booking. If it’s easy and accessible, anyone will be able to register for it. In general, I think more people will be motivated if they realise how quickly and easily they can get vaccinated.” – Sakthi Kumar, 19, Student

Giving priority to those of higher risk

“I think it’s good that the vaccines are finally made available for youths as some are also vulnerable to COVID-19. Some have asthma and some of their jobs require them to interact with more people, which increases their chance of getting the virus.

“As far as I know, I do not have any lung or breathing issues like asthma. So, I will not be getting the vaccine immediately as I feel that I am not vulnerable to the virus compared to those who have asthma or a job that involves a lot of human interaction. I want to let those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 to get the vaccines first.

 

Singaporeans who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 should have the priority to be vaccinated first. PHOTO CREDIT: REAGAN TAN

 

“I hope that people will be more open minded to get the vaccines as getting the vaccine is not only beneficial for themselves but also to others.” – Hawa Balqis, 21, Intern 

Benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the cons

“I am willing to book my appointment immediately because I can protect myself against the virus even though I have some doubts about the side effects the vaccine may have. 

“I do not believe there is enough data to show that the vaccine is completely safe as it is developed a bit too quickly. However, I think the benefits of getting the jab outweigh its cons. I believe that contracting COVID-19 is much worse than getting any side effects from the vaccine. 

 

According to the World Health Organisation, the side effects of the vaccine may include fever, fatigue or headache. PHOTO CREDIT: STEVEN CORNFIELD VIA UNSPLASH

 

“By booking my vaccination early, I believe that I can be allowed to partake in more activities such as social gatherings as compared to someone who is not vaccinated, since the government had mentioned this possibility earlier on.” Xavier Poh, 21, Intern

No urgency to book vaccine appointments immediately

“I’m definitely open to the vaccine since there are only mild side effects reported so far. If our ministers have already taken it, I think it really goes to show how much trust they have in the vaccine which makes me very certain that the vaccine is safe and effective as well.

“I’m willing to book immediately if given the opportunity, but I would not actively look out for vaccination slots in June because I feel that community cases are relatively low and my job doesn’t put me at a high risk of getting exposed to the virus. 

“I think there’s no time period as to how long I’m open to waiting for the vaccine, but it’s more of how I wouldn’t initiate the process of getting the vaccine myself. I don’t see the need to get it now but if a group of my friends plan to get the vaccine and ask if I want to get it too then I’ll just go along with them.” – Pamela Lee, 20, Intern

Concerns over ensuring target groups are vaccinated first

“From what the article says, only 17 per cent of people aged 45 to 59 who registered have gotten the vaccine. I’m afraid that if the opening date is too early, not everyone would be able to get their vaccines and we will not be able to confirm that everyone in the target range got their vaccine. 

“One suggestion would be to push back the date to let people below 45 register for the vaccination by one or two months.

 

A gradual vaccine opening will ensure that more Singaporeans across different age groups have access to the vaccination. PHOTO CREDIT: BARANI VICNAN

 

“With the gradual rollouts, it will be easier to track which age group or demographic has gotten their vaccines. Although it makes it slower than giving everyone the vaccine at once, it will definitely be safer when it comes to ensuring that those with priority get the vaccines first.” – Sean Ling, 19, Student

Written by Sarah Chan, Noreen Shazreen, Xynthea Ong


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