SINGAPORE — Residents in Singapore aged under 45 will be invited to book their COVID-19 vaccination slots from June, based on the current schedule, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Monday (5 April).
Dr Janil also said that about half, or close to 500,000 residents, of those aged 45 to 59 – who were invited to book their slots from 24 March – have already registered for their slots, in response to a series of questions by Members of Parliament (MPs) on the progress of the country's vaccination drive.
"We're encouraged by this strong response. Those who have registered will progressively receive invitations, through SMS (short message service) to make their appointments for their vaccination," he added.
But Dr Janil noted that it may take some time given the number who has registered, adding that about 17 per cent of those aged 45 to 59 have received the vaccination or booked their appointments.
The rest should receive the SMS by mid-May and can expect to book a slot by early June, Dr Janil added.
Separately, about 60 per cent of eligible seniors aged 70 and above and close to 70% of those aged 60 to 69 have received the COVID-19 vaccination or booked their vaccination appointments to date, he said.
He added that as at Saturday, around 1.52 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered here – around 1.05 million individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccine, of which more than 468,000 have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen.
"Our supply of vaccines remains limited by the availability of vaccine manufacturers to deliver, given the high levels of global demand. This has resulted in limited booking slots in recent days," said Dr Janil.
"I apologise for the inconvenience caused to those who have not been able to book. As more supplies arrive, we will progressively open more slots."
Responding to a follow-up question by Workers' Party Sengkang GRC MP Jamus Lim on the government's threshold target for coverage associated with herd immunity, Dr Janil said the target is for as many eligible residents to be vaccinated.
"Herd immunity indeed is useful, but you can also imagine that we would perhaps want to make sure that individuals who want to travel overseas will also continue to be protected and that requires them to be vaccinated because once they're overseas, they will not benefit from herd immunity here in Singapore," he added.
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