SINGAPORE - From Saturday (Oct 9), healthcare workers, front-line workers and those aged 30 and above will be invited to take Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.
They will join those aged 50 to 59 who have been receiving their booster shots from Oct 3.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the booster jabs will be administered to these groups of people who have received their two-dose regimen at least six months ago.
"Our healthcare and front-line workers are more likely to come into regular contact with Covid-19 cases in the course of their work and are at greater risk of infection," it said.
In a statement, the Expert Committee for Covid-19 Vaccination said healthcare and frontline workers have a 1.4 to two times greater risk of being infected amid the current surge of Covid-19 cases.
"Furthermore, they may care for vulnerable persons such as the elderly and persons with medical conditions," it added.
Those in institutions such as prisons and residential care facilities will also get booster jabs, said MOH, as these places are indoor settings with higher human density and thus predisposed to large outbreaks of Covid-19.
"We are also working with various institutions to progressively roll out booster vaccinations to eligible persons in institutionalised settings," the ministry added.
In addition, expanding the booster programme to those aged 30 and above will help to raise the overall level of protection in the population, MOH said.
The expert committee noted while the two-dose vaccine continues "to provide excellent protection against severe disease", there is now evidence of waning protection against infection over time.
Therefore, the booster doses can help to reduce the risk of infection and Covid-19 transmission.
Speaking at a press conference by the multi-ministry Covid-19 task force, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said data has shown that giving those aged between 30 to 49 a booster jab will enhance their protection against infection and severe disease.
The risk of severe side effects is low and not different compared to the first two doses, he added.
From Saturday, people in this group will receive a text message with a personalised booking link on the mobile number that they had earlier registered for their first two doses, to book an appointment at this website.
They can get their booster dose at any vaccination centre or participating Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC).
As at Thursday (Oct 7), almost 372,000 individuals have received their booster dose.
About 57 per cent of people aged 50 to 59 and 72 per cent of seniors aged 60 and above have either booked an appointment or already received their booster dose.
In addition, MOH recommended that those who are moderately and severely immunocompromised receive a third dose of the mRNA vaccine two months after their second dose.
These include people with the following conditions:
- Transplant patients on immunosuppressive therapy, including solid organ and allogenic stem cell transplants
- Cancer patients on active treatment with chemotherapy and immunosuppressive therapy
- Blood cancers, such as lymphoma and leukaemia
- Immunosuppressive treatment for non-cancer conditions
- End-stage kidney disease
- Advanced or untreated HIV
These people can take their booster dose six months after the third dose.