Forum: Make vaccination mandatory at nursing homes, so residents can be allowed to go out

The Government has plans to ramp up vaccination (S'pore nearly doubles vaccination roll-out to 80,000 doses a day, June 25) and reopen Singapore, with a new road map being drawn up to live with Covid-19 (S'pore preparing road map for living with Covid-19, June 24).

I wonder what will happen to seniors in nursing homes if the home they live in does not achieve a certain vaccination threshold. Would these residents not be allowed to come out into the community, even for short breaks like breakfast at a nearby mall?

My grandmother is 94 years old. Before she had to live at a nursing home, she was fiercely independent and worked past the age of 70 as a cleaner.

In recent years, I would visit her during the weekend and take her in a wheelchair to a nearby mall for breakfast.

Ever since the circuit breaker began last year, I have not been allowed to take her out of the home at all. Even when everyone else was allowed to gather in groups of up to eight people, and even when there were no cases in the community for a significant period of time, this policy was not changed.

The Government should make it mandatory for all nursing home residents to be vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons.

These residents belong to the most vulnerable group and should be protected, especially since they live communally.

With the residents all vaccinated, the Government can then relax the policy of not allowing them to leave the home.

How fair is it to the residents who have been vaccinated to have their freedom curtailed because of other residents who chose not to be vaccinated?

I hope the Government can look into this as part of the road map for reopening. Let us not forget our Pioneer Generation.

Candice Yeo Chay Hoon

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