This week has started on some good news. Parents can book vaccination slot for their kids aged 12 years and above from June 1. This mean school children will be vaccinated en mass from next month.
This information was shared by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his address to the nation about COVID-19 situation and curbs.
In his speech today (Monday, 31 May, 2021), PM Lee shared that booking for vaccination of students aged 12 and above will open June 1. However priority will be given to those sitting for national examinations.
He also added that Singapore will ease restrictions by June 13, if the number of community cases continue to fall further.
Minimum Age For COVID Vaccine: Highlights Of PM Lee’s Address
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The minimum age for COVID vaccine is 12 years. Earlier this month, Singapore approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years.
Over the past few weeks, Singapore has reported a surge in community cases, which prompted the authorities to introduce heightened alert or curbs. What was more concerning is that kids started to get affected by the highly transmissible variant.
In his address on Monday, PM Lee said, “Barring another super-spreader or big cluster, we should be on track to bring this outbreak under control. We will know for sure in another week or so.”
He, however, reiterated the importance of testing, contact tracing and vaccination. Here are the highlights from his speech today:
Vaccination for students
Bookings for students to get their shots will open on June 1
Priority will be given to graduating cohorts for O-Levels, N-Levels, and A-Levels, as well as special needs students
This will then be followed by students aged 12 years and over, including students in institutions of higher learning
The government will “take full advantage of the June holidays to vaccinate students”
Vaccination of those 39 years and younger
After the students, inoculation for young adults aged 39-years-old and younger will take place after that around mid-June. Mr Lee as reported in CNA said, “This group is quite large. Therefore, we will give the Singaporeans among them a two-week priority window to book your appointments first, before we open up generally to the rest who want to be vaccinated.”
Walk-in vaccination for elderly
Senior citizens above 60 years old will now be able to get vaccinated without needing to register in advance. They can walk into any vaccination center to get their shots. PM Lee said, “Nearly three-quarters of Singapore’s elderly people – about 760,000 senior citizens aged 60 and above – have had at least one jab or booked a slot already.”
For those elderly who are not mobile, or are unable to make it to the vaccination centre, they can contact the Silver Generation Office. A doctor and nurse will visit their home to give the vaccination.
The government’s target is to get two-thirds of its residents vaccinated with at least the first dose and it should be able to do this by early July. This is however, provided if the supplies come on time.
PM Lee said, “Everyone who is eligible for a vaccination and wants one should be able to get at least their first jab by National Day,” which falls on August 9. As you are aware, Singapore has approved the use of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech jabs in the country.
He also assured the citizens of faster vaccine deliveries over the next two months. This will allow the country to further speed up the inoculation drive.
A longer interval between doses
In order to allow more people to receive their first dose, authorities announced that they will extend the duration between the first and second shots.
Instead of administering the doses three or four weeks apart, the shots are now given six to eight weeks apart.
Caution Is The Name Of The Game Right Now
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Singapore imposed tighter measures twice in May after the number of local coronavirus infections climbed higher in April. Physical schools were also shifted to home-based learning as more kids in the country started getting infected. In fact, the surge in cases also led to another delay of the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong.
Amid the rise in cases, Singapore had introduced a slew of COVID-19 measures, including a ban on dine-in, capped public gatherings to groups of two, and mandated all workers who could work from home to do so from May 16 to June 13.
The country reported 16 new Covid-19 cases in the community on Monday, with the majority linked to earlier infections.
While the government is trying their best to control the situation, as responsible citizens, you need to remind your kids to follow the COVID guidelines. This is not the time to left our guards down. Teach your kids to wear their masks, wash their hands with soap and water and avoid crowds.
Exercise all the necessary safety precautions to fight against the pandemic!