400,000 students in Singapore can register for COVID vaccine from 1 June

SINGAPORE — From Tuesday (1 June), some 400,000 students from schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) can register for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the national vaccination exercise.

Those from the graduating cohorts taking their N, O or A-level exams or the equivalent in the second-half of 2021, numbering about 56,000, will be prioritised. "These students will be the first to receive their invitations to be vaccinated so that they can have greater flexibility in scheduling their vaccination appointments in view of their upcoming national examinations," said the Ministry of Education

Over the next two weeks, similar invitations will be progressively extended to other groups of full-time students, including the privately-funded Schools, madrasahs and Special Education (SPED) schools. International schools will not be included in this vaccination exercise.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be administered to those aged from 12 to below 18, while older students can choose between the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The interval between doses will be six to eight weeks.

The first shots for students are expected to be given on 3 June. Once they are vaccinated, the vaccination exercise will be opened to young adults aged 39 and below.

Last month, the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19 authorised the use of vaccines in those aged 12-15. Studies and data have shown that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective and safe for individuals aged 12 and above, and aged 18 and above respectively.

Parental consent

INFOGRAPHIC: Ministry of Education
INFOGRAPHIC: Ministry of Education

Students or parents/guardians of those under 18 will receive SMSes with a unique link for them to book appointments at any of the vaccination centres.

Those below 18 years will only be offered appointment slots at sites with the Pfizer vaccine.

Parental or guardian consent will be required for these students as part of the booking process via the National Appointment System (NAS). Consent will be collected once, and apply for both doses. Parent or guardian accompaniment at the vaccination site is only required for children aged 12 and children in SPED schools.

The main vaccination exercise for most students will be through the NAS as this will give maximum flexibility in choice of dates and venues, and for students to get vaccinated early.

Vaccination centres

Vaccinations for students will take place at community vaccination centres. From 7 June, there will also be four dedicated MOE vaccination centres, of which three will be at ITE College campuses, jointly set up by MOE and the Health Promotion Board (HPB), and one at Raffles City Convention Centre.

As all three ITE campuses will have MOE vaccination centres, ITE students will take their shots on-campus, to make use of this dedicated capacity.

To facilitate access for students in SPED schools who may find it challenging to visit a vaccination site, MOH will deploy mobile vaccination teams to the schools to carry out vaccinations for all SPED students aged 12 and above.

"While the COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, we would like to encourage all medically eligible students to be vaccinated when the vaccine is made available to them. This is our way of protecting not just our students and education institutions, but also their families and the wider community," said MOE.

More information on the vaccination exercise for students can be found here.

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