73,000 people in 12-39 age group have made appointments for Covid-19 vaccination

People at the vaccination centre at Buona Vista Community Club on June 11, 2021. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Around 73,000 people aged 12 to 39 have booked their vaccination appointments as at noon on Friday (June 11), the first day Singapore extended its vaccination programme to this age group.

The Ministry of Health (MOH), in an update to The Straits Times, said that the figure accounts for almost three-quarters of the 100,000 people in the age group who have received their SMS invitations to book appointments for vaccination.

"More SMS invitations will be sent out progressively as more vaccination slots are made available for booking," it said.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a press conference on Thursday that as the 12-39 age group is a large one of 1.5 million people, the Singapore citizens among them will have a two-week priority window to book their appointments.

He also suggested that those who opt for the Moderna vaccine are more likely to get an earlier slot, compared with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as younger students aged 12 to 17 are able to take only the Pfizer vaccine.

Checks by ST found that the earliest vaccination slot for the Moderna vaccine is on Saturday, while the next available slot for the Pfizer vaccine is on June 21.

The Ministry of Education said in response to queries from ST that as at noon on Friday, over 270,000 students have registered for their vaccination appointments, of whom over 74,000 have taken their first dose.

Since June 1, over 311,000 SMSes have been sent to students who are aged 12 and above in Primary 6, secondary and junior college or pre-university levels as well as to polytechnic and autonomous university students.

On Thursday, Mr Ong had also said that, as at Wednesday, 4.4 million doses had been administered, with more than 2.5 million people receiving at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

This translates to around 44 per cent of the population who have received the first jab.

Nearly three-quarters of seniors above the age of 60 have received at least one dose of the vaccine or have booked an appointment for vaccination, said Mr Ong.

For the 45-48 age group, the rate is at 74 per cent, and 65 per cent for those aged 40 to 44, who started getting vaccinated on May 19.

For students, about 85 per cent have either received their first dose or booked their appointment, he added.

MOH on Thursday said that those in the eligible age group of 12 to 39 can register online.

After registration, people will be progressively invited to book their vaccination appointments via an SMS with a personalised booking link sent to the mobile number they have registered with.

Children or wards under the age of 18 will require the consent of their parent or guardian to book an appointment.

"However, we seek your patience and understanding that the SMS may take up to two weeks for some, as more appointment slots for vaccination will be made available as more supplies arrive," said MOH.

Those who had registered their interest earlier on vaccine.gov.sg will not need to re-register.

The invitation to register will be eventually extended to the rest of the population over the coming months, the ministry added.

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