Brisk start to first day of Covid-19 jabs in Singapore for kids between six months and four years

Civil servant Aylicia Tan holding her son, Donovan Tan, six, as he gets his Covid-19 shot at Sembawang Community Club on Tuesday. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM
Registration counters for children aged six months to four years (right) and those aged five to 11 years (left) at One Punggol’s vaccination centre on Tuesday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Three-year-old Kammur Farhan Ahmed receiving a Covid-19 jab at the One Punggol centre on Tuesday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Children can receive Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine at one of five centres in Singapore, including Sembawang Community Club (above). ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

SINGAPORE - The first day of Covid-19 jabs for children aged between six months and four years got off to a brisk start on Tuesday morning, with vaccination centres across the island crowded with parents and their children.

This comes after registration opened last week for parents and guardians to get their young children to receive Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine at one of five centres in Singapore, in areas like Punggol, Tampines and Queenstown.

For those aged six months to four years, the Moderna vaccine is given in two doses of 25 micrograms each, administered at least eight weeks apart.

More than 10,600 children aged between six months and four years have been registered for vaccination as at Monday, said the Ministry of Health.

The vaccination centre at One Punggol, operated by Thomson Medical, administered 53 doses of the vaccine to children in that age range in the first two hours.

Punggol is the town with the highest proportion of children below five years old, making up 8.3 per cent – or about 14,640 – of the estate’s 176,190 residents in 2021, according to figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics.

The centre – which was filled with the sounds of children crying as they got their jabs – was decorated with pictures of cartoon characters on the walls of the vaccination counters.

Parents told The Straits Times that they wanted their children to get vaccinated to protect them against severe Covid-19, amid the wave of infections due to the XBB Omicron sub-variant.

Among those getting the jab in Punggol was four-year-old Shiraz Adam Shamsul, who was accompanied by his mother Nurul Atiqah.

Ms Nurul and her husband decided that Shiraz should be vaccinated after the family caught Covid-19 in June.

“He was quite afraid of the needle, but when we explained to him what it was for, he was okay,” said the 32-year-old housewife.

Customer service manager Veronica Wong said she prepared her daughter Adaline Kong, four, for the vaccination.

“She knows I got the jab, Papa got the jab, and our helper got the jab,” said the 50-year-old, adding that the nurse who administered the shot was “very assuring” and gentle.

Children receiving Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine at One Punggol’s vaccination centre on Tuesday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The vaccination centre at Sembawang Community Club, which is run by Fullerton Health, received 400 registrations for jabs on Tuesday.

But the number of visitors dwindled after the early-morning crowd, with only about 10 children and their parents there at about noon.

A child receives the Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine at Sembawang Community Club on Tuesday. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

General practitioner Melissa Chan, who was at the Sembawang centre, said that as a healthcare professional, she knew the importance of getting her 14-month-old son, Ethan Zheng, vaccinated.

Mother and son caught Covid-19 in March, when Ethan was six months old. While her son’s symptoms were mild, the 28-year-old said she did not want him to catch it again while in infantcare.

Remote video URL
Follow us on YouTube: https://str.sg/ytsub Pfizer's bivalent vaccine is for those aged 12 and above - is an updated version of the ...

Both Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine and Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine were approved by the Health Sciences Authority for use in children below five.

The three-dose Pfizer vaccine for children aged six months to four years is expected to be available by the end of 2022.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.