Providing an update on Singapore’s immunization exercise so far, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore has made good progress since vaccination began in December of last year.
Healthcare and frontline workers, as well as the majority of people aged 45 and over, have already received at least their first dose, while vaccination of people aged 40 to 44 is underway.
The multi-ministerial Covid-19 task force has announced that Singapore will speed up vaccinations over the next two months and prioritize the first dose of vaccinations.
This is currently underway as the government strives to protect as many Singaporeans as possible, especially with the emergence of new variants of Covid-19.
Prime Minister Lee stressed that this approach will quickly provide good protection to the maximum number of people, instead of a good number of people with maximum protection.
However, the obstacle is the limited supply of vaccines. Prime Minister Lee said the government has been working hard to confirm and expedite vaccine deliveries from suppliers, adding that the country has received further confirmation of faster vaccine deliveries over the next two months.
The latest supply schedule will allow the country to further strengthen its immunization program and deliver the vaccine to everyone, even sooner than expected.
Students will be next
Prime Minister Lee said the next group to be vaccinated will be students, as there has been an increase in cases of infected children in schools and tuition centers during the latest outbreak.
He added that the government would use the June vacation to vaccinate them. Reservations will open tomorrow (June 1), with priority given to cohorts of graduates at O, N and A levels, as well as students with special needs.
Other students aged 12 and over will follow, including students from higher education institutions.
Once Singapore has vaccinated the students, it will proceed with the vaccination of the last group of young adults aged 39 and under. It should start around mid-June.
Noting that this group is quite large, he said Singaporeans among them will be given a two-week priority window to book their appointments first, before the government opens it to others who wish to be vaccinated.
Today, nearly four in ten residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. PM Lee introduced the next goal, which is to have two-thirds of residents vaccinated with at least the first dose.
With the accelerated immunization program, the country should be able to do so in early July, provided supplies arrive as planned, he added.
Anyone who is eligible for a vaccination and wants one should be able to get at least their first vaccine before National Day. Prime Minister Lee further urged Singapore residents young and old to get vaccinated once it is their turn.
With the most infectious strains of the virus, Singapore needs as many people as possible to be vaccinated in order to achieve or approach herd immunity, he said, adding that it was the way to make everyone safe and get back to more normal activities.
Featured Image Credit: Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images
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