COVID-19 vaccinations free for all Singaporeans; recommended but not mandatory: PM Lee

SINGAPORE — The government has decided to make COVID-19 vaccinations free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents who are currently here, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday (14 December).

Lee made the announcement in a 15-minute national broadcast just before a virtual media conference to be chaired by the ministerial task force on COVID-19.

A committee of doctors appointed by the Ministry of Health has proposed that the entire adult population should be vaccinated, but to make vaccinations voluntary, he added.

“I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated too, when the vaccine is offered to you. Because when you get yourself vaccinated, you are not just protecting yourself,” Lee said.

covid-19 coronavirus vaccination concept
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

The first priority for the vaccinations will be given to those who are at greatest risk including healthcare workers, frontline personnel, as well as the elderly and vulnerable, he added.

The committee has proposed to progressively vaccinate the rest of the population, and cover everyone who wants a vaccination by the end of next year, he said.

Lee added he and his colleagues, including the older ones, will be getting themselves vaccinated early to underscore their belief that the vaccines are safe.

“Now that vaccines are becoming available, we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

In a press release, the committee said, “We agree with HSA’s (Health Sciences Authority) recommendation for the suitability of its use in individuals aged 16 years and above in Singapore. However pregnant women, immunocompromised persons and those under the age of 16 should not receive the vaccine yet, until more data is available.”

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