COVID booster shots may begin in Chinese New Year: Ong Ye Kung


SINGAPORE — By February 2022, those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus may begin taking a third booster shot, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (8 July).

"The Chinese New Year in February next year will be about a year after the (national vaccination drive) was launched. That may be when people would start to take the booster shots," said Ong, who co-chairs the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.

The minister was responding to questions from the public during an Instagram live broadcast, according to a report by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao. He had been asked if booster shots can be expected in the near future.

In response, Ong said fully vaccinated individuals will most likely need booster shots. If so, they may be allowed to take them around the Chinese New Year, or February next year.

He added that since the vaccines are effective for between one and two years, boosters may be needed to better fight against new variants that may emerge. Singapore may then need to order more vaccine shots.

The Republic is aiming to fully vaccinate two-thirds of the population by National Day. As of 6 July, more than 2 million people in Singapore have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Writing in The Straits Times last month, the MTF co-chairs said that Singapore may have to sustain a comprehensive, multi-year vaccination programme, as COVID-19 becomes endemic around the world. In this regard, booster shots may be needed in the future to sustain a high level of protection.

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