Forum: Wise and practical approach to vaccine strategy a great comfort

It is heartening to see the Government take such a clear, calm and professional approach in its Covid-19 management strategies (S'poreans urged to stay vigilant and abide by rules to curb virus, Dec 15).

It is very wise to approve only vaccines that have met international certification standards. Given Singapore's small population, we do not really need to approve too many vaccines anyway.

Besides, too many alternative vaccine management protocols for each different vaccine may make on-the-ground logistics unnecessarily complex.

At the same time, it is possible vaccines that are approved in the future might require only a single dose and much simpler logistics, making them better or cheaper choices for the nation. So it is good to keep our options open.

It is also wise to make vaccination voluntary. Surveys already show that about 80 per cent are willing to be vaccinated, enough to keep the authorities more than busy through to next year (8 in 10 here open to Covid-19 jab: ST poll, Dec 12).

Perhaps by the middle of next year, many more might have changed their minds. Furthermore, the extra travel and screening protocols that might be put in place for people who are not vaccinated could motivate a few more.

The decision to offer free vaccination to all citizens and long-term residents is another good one, removing any financial reason not to take it. Perhaps it should remain free only until the end of next year, to motivate people not to unnecessarily delay getting vaccinated?

All these give Singaporeans comfort in knowing that personal/community safety along with personal choice remain the primary underlying themes in the vaccination regime.

Rahul Patwardhan

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