140,000 seniors being invited to get Covid-19 booster shots, says Ong Ye Kung

SMS invites will be sent over the next few days to the seniors.
SMS invites will be sent over the next few days to the seniors.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - About 140,000 seniors are being invited to fix an appointment to get Covid-19 vaccine booster shots from Tuesday (Sept 14) while those in nursing homes will start getting their shots from Wednesday.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said SMS invites will be sent over the next few days to the seniors to make appointments at vaccination centres, polyclinics or participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics.

For elderly folk, mobile and home vaccination teams have been activated, he said, and will be visiting homes to give jabs to those who are immobile, as well as those in nursing homes.

Mr Ong also said two new community care facilities with a total capacity of 1,000 beds will be set up by the end of September.

"From today, we are stepping up another 300 beds to 1,300 isolation beds for Covid-19 cases in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and hospitals," he added.

He said general practitioners and polyclinics should be the first port of call for less urgent medical problems, which will go a long way to help emergency departments prioritise treatment for serious cases.

He also said seniors, regardless of vaccination status, should go out less often and cut back on social activities and meeting friends.

Mr Ong added that home recovery is now the default for infected individuals who are fully vaccinated, below 50, healthy, and do not live with vulnerable people.

Details of the new care model were announced by the Ministry of Health earlier on Tuesday.

"Home recovery is a crucial change in practice, to ensure that hospital beds go to those who need them most," he said.