77% of seniors aged 60 and above fully vaccinated against Covid-19: MOH

About 187,000 seniors have yet to receive their first dose.
About 187,000 seniors have yet to receive their first dose.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 77 per cent of seniors aged 60 and above have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (July 28).

About 187,000 seniors have yet to receive their first dose, added MOH in its update.

The multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 said during a press conference last week that 200,000 seniors aged above 60 have not been vaccinated, and a bigger push will be made in the coming weeks to get them inoculated.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said then that about 71 per cent of seniors above 70 have been vaccinated. The figure was above 85 per cent for those aged 60 to 69, he added.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Ong noted that one common reason that seniors have yet to take the jab is concerns over whether the vaccine could cause heart attacks or strokes.

Heart attacks and strokes happen naturally within the population, with or without Covid-19 vaccinations, he said, posting two graphs  that showed the monthly numbers of such cases at public hospitals involving those  aged 60 and above since January 2018.

“The two graphs show that numbers have remained steady, despite the fact that number of seniors grew over the few years.

“I hope these numbers provide some peace of mind for seniors and their family members, to go ahead and take the vaccines,” he said.

MOH on Wednesday also said 10 mobile vaccination teams have been deployed to the heartland, reaching out to some 2,300 people since July 7.

These teams go to locations near where many seniors live, such as at selected community clubs and centres that are not already being used as vaccination centres, or at the residents' committee centres at residential blocks, it said.

Seniors who are unable to leave their homes can also request to get vaccinated at home, by calling the Silver Generation Office hotline on 1800-650-6060.

The ministry reiterated that seniors who are 60 and above this year do not need to book appointments before being vaccinated at any vaccination centre.

"For their convenience, they can also walk into any of the participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics, or polyclinics to receive their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination, without any prior appointment needed," it said.

MOH said it was working closely with stakeholders to encourage Covid-19 vaccination take-up among seniors.

Staff and volunteers from the People's Association and the Agency for Integrated Care's Silver Generation Office will reach out to the unvaccinated seniors through house visits and engagement dialogues, it added.

All primary care providers have also been called on to help persuade seniors who are their regular patients to get vaccinated if they have not done so, said MOH.