COVID: Persons aged 60-79 in Singapore can take second booster if they wish

·Senior Editor
·3-min read
People enter a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination centre set up at a community centre in Singapore on October 7, 2021. (Photo by Roslan Rahman / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
People enter a coronavirus vaccination centre set up at a community centre in Singapore. (AFP via Getty Images file photo)

SINGAPORE — Persons aged 60 to 79 years can take a second booster shot to protect against COVID-19 if they wish to do so, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (22 April).

The second booster vaccine dose should be administered about five months after those in the age group have received the first booster.

The multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 previously announced that those aged 80 and above, residents of aged care facilities, and the medically vulnerable should receive their second booster.

While the Expert Committee on COVID-19 (EC19V) is not recommending that those aged 60 to 79 receive a second booster shot, EC19V agreed to offer the shot to them should they wish to take it, MOH's Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak said on Friday.

Persons aged 60 and above can receive their second booster by walking into any vaccination centre offering mRNA vaccines before 7pm.

EC19V has also recommended a booster dose for recovered persons aged 12 and above who have completed their primary vaccination.

This booster should be administered from 1 June within nine months after the completion of their primary vaccination series and should be received at least 28 days after the infection, in order to maintain their vaccinated status.

In younger age groups, for example between the ages of 12 and 60 years, MOH's data suggests that a second booster dose is not as beneficial at this time, said Associate Professor Mak, who was speaking at a multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce media conference.

"The risk for...getting severe infection is much lower unless associated with the presence of chronic medical conditions which renders that individual vulnerable," Prof Mak added.

Also speaking at the conference, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said MOH is monitoring two indicators when it comes to the timing of administering second boosters.

One is whether the Omicron or new variant wave breaks out in other countries and whether it might emerge in Singapore, and the other is the level of vaccine protection against severe illnesses among those who had already have had their first booster shots, according to Ong, who compared receiving a second booster to buying insurance protection.

“Administer too late and damage would have already been done. You have to catch the timing right to determine a suitable time to proactively administer further booster,” Ong said.

Booster vaccination for all recovered dormitory dwelling migrant workers (MWs) and non-dormitory dwelling work-permit holder MWs in the construction, marine, processing sector will be scheduled later.

Meanwhile, MOH will progressively reduce the number of vaccination centres (VCs) from end-May, to consolidate its resources and free up these spaces for other uses. The VCs at the former Hong Kah Secondary School and Raffles Convention Centre will remain in operation.

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