S’pore launches Covid-19 vaccine booster programme – over 100 seniors have taken their shot

Singapore rolled out the nation’s first Covid-19 vaccine booster programme today (September 15), with over 100 senior citizens already taken their third shot at one of the many vaccination centers islandwide.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will send invitations to a total of 140,000 seniors over the next few days to make an appointment for their booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Tanjong Pagar Community Club and some vaccination centres, polyclinics, and participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics across Singapore will also offer seniors their third dose.

One of the first to receive a booster shot was 73-year-old retired NTUC Income chief executive, Tan Kin Lian, at a vaccination centre run by Raffles Medical Group at Teck Ghee Community Club.

Over 100 seniors had received their booster shots at the centre by noon.

“If you’re unvaccinated, you’re five to eight times more likely to suffer serious illness,” said Mr Tan, who took the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Locally transmitted Covid-19 cases are on the rise

The number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore have been on the rise lately, with 832 new locally transmitted cases reported today, up from 328 cases just a week ago.

Of the new cases reported today, 231 were seniors above the age of 60, according to the MOH. 809 patients were hospitalised, most of whom were well and under observation.

However, 75 were seriously ill and required oxygen supplementation, three times that of last week, and nine patients were in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Of those who have fallen seriously ill, a total of 66 were seniors above the age of 60.

MOH is currently monitoring a total of 14 active clusters. Ren Ci nursing home in Bukit Batok and All Saints Home in Jurong East have been identified as Covid-19 clusters, which are reported to be growing.

Covid-19 cases in two dormitories are also identified as clusters — Avery Lodge Dormitory now has a total of 82 infections, while 11 Tuas Ave 10 dormitory reports 21 infections.

80 per cent of S’poreans are fully vaccinated

On Monday (Sept 13), 81 per cent of Singapore’s population had completed their full vaccination regimen, having received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines. 84 per cent of the population have received at least one dose.

The national vaccination programme has since administered over 8.87 million doses of vaccines, covering around 4.56 million people, 4.42 million of whom are fully vaccinated.

By Tuesday, Singapore reported a total of 73,131 Covid-19 cases, and 58 related deaths.

The Agency for Integrated Care urged seniors to get their Covid-19 booster shots if eligible, and remain home as much as possible.

Seniors aged 60 and above are recommended by the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination, to get their booster shots six to nine months after completing two doses.

A representative from Raffles Medical said that seniors are free to choose between the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for their third dose, but have to make an appointment beforehand at the centre that offers their preferred vaccine.

Those who had received the first two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are allowed to get a Moderna booster, and vice versa.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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