SINGAPORE — Singapore is aiming to fully vaccinate two-thirds of the population against COVID-19 by National Day and will accelerate its vaccination plan from this Saturday (26 June) after it was able to bring forward the delivery of vaccine supplies.
"This is an ambitious target, but achievable," said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (24 June) at a virtual media conference by the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce.
"I also have to quality, while ambitious, it is another interim milestone and in fact, we need to get more people fully vaccinated than this two-third milestone," he added.
In a news release on Thursday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said, "We expect to add another 500,000 new first dose appointments in the next few days for slots from now till mid-July, with more additional slots in the subsequent weeks."
The accelerated programme will allow for 80,000 vaccine doses to be administered daily, up from the current rate of 47,000 daily doses.
"If supplies continue to arrive as planned, we will be able to substantially cover most of our population with a first dose sometime in July, and would have achieved our objective of giving as many people as possible some protection," said MOH.
Ong, who is also the taskforce co-chair, said at the conference that as of Wednesday, 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination had been administered to residents in Singapore, with 3 million people amongst the population having received at least one dose, or about 53 per cent of the population.
About 36 per cent of the population have received two doses.
Vaccine dose interval
The MOH said that the current dose interval of six to eight weeks will be reviewed with an eye on shortening the period to four weeks.
The priority window for Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39 to make their vaccine appointments will also be extended by a week till 1 July, MOH said. This is to allow more time for individuals who register to book slots and receive an earlier vaccination appointment from the additional slots to be opened soon, it added.
Those who have already booked a slot for their first dose and have appointments in mid-to-end July are also urged to bring forward their appointments.
"Eligible individuals who have registered for vaccination and (have) yet to receive a booking link can expect to receive a SMS with a personalised booking link to make an appointment within the next week," said MOH.
The vaccination programme will also be extended to the rest of Singapore's population – including permanent residents and long-term pass holders aged 12 to 39 – from 2 July. Those in this group can register their interest from that date and will be progressively invited to book their vaccination appointments via an SMS with a personalised booking link.
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