Coronavirus Vaccines

11 vaccination centres now open; about 40 to be ready by end-April

Each centre should be able to cater to at least 2,000 people a day, tender documents show

A total of 11 vaccination centres are now up and running, and more will progressively be opened so that Covid-19 jabs can be administered at about 40 centres by the end of April, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced yesterday.

As part of the effort to expand the number of vaccination centres, 17 healthcare providers, including Raffles Medical, Parkway Shenton and Thomson Medical, have been appointed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to set up and run 36 vaccination centres and 10 mobile vaccination teams, The Straits Times has learnt.

Singapore plans to start mass vaccinations for the elderly from Monday, following the pilot scheme for seniors in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar.

According to documents seen by The Straits Times, a tender, which is worth $38 million, was jointly awarded to the 17 providers on Feb 11. It stated that the vaccination centres should each be able to cater to at least 2,000 people a day.

The centres and the mobile teams will be set up progressively, and the number required is subject to change.

Other providers that have been awarded the tender to run vaccination centres include Sata Comm-Health, Fullerton Healthcare Group and Healthway Medical Group. A total of 21 vendors had placed bids for the tender.

Sites for vaccination centres could include vacant schools, community clubs and sports halls. The centres will operate for up to 12 months, and should be open from 8am to 10pm daily, including weekends and public holidays.

The mobile vaccination teams will comprise a medical doctor, four nurses and three administration staff, and will operate from 8am to 6pm daily.

Vaccination centres that opened recently include Jalan Besar Community Centre (CC), Bishan CC, Canberra CC and Senja-Cashew CC. Three more are due to start running at CCs in Bukit Timah, Marine Parade and Taman Jurong by Monday, MOH said yesterday.

ST understands that they will be run by Raffles Medical and Parkway Shenton.

There will be 31 vaccination centres running by the middle of next month, MOH said. The shots can also be administered at all 20 polyclinics as well as 22 general practitioners' clinics.

Mr Yong Yih Ming, general manager of Raffles Medical Group, said it will be running the vaccination centre at Marine Parade CC. This centre is part of the tender awarded on Feb 11. The group is still awaiting further details from the authorities on the opening of other upcoming vaccination centres, he said.

Two other centres run by Parkway Shenton, under an earlier tender, start operating on Monday, said Mr Ang Chee Wee, the group's chief operations officer. ST understands that they are located in Bukit Timah and Taman Jurong.

Mr Sugumaran Subramanyam, head of operations and corporate affairs at Sata CommHealth, said it will be operating two mobile vaccination teams as part of the tender awarded on Feb 11. Its mobile teams are already operational and have been deployed since last Monday, with 400 people vaccinated over the past four days.

The number of people vaccinated by the two teams is expected to eventually rise to 300 a day, he said.

Mr Gan also said in a written parliamentary response on Tuesday that around 73 per cent of healthcare workers in Singapore's public and private sectors, including primary care, acute hospitals and those in long-term care settings, have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

About 72 per cent of Covid-19 front-line workers and essential workers in the aviation and maritime sectors have also been vaccinated.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2021, with the headline '11 vaccination centres now open; about 40 to be ready by end-April'. Subscribe