Siblings can take Covid-19 child vaccination together in one appointment from Jan 10

Brothers Louis (right) and Lukas, accompanied by their mother Deborah, at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club vaccination centre, on Dec 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Siblings aged five to 11 will soon be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccination jabs at the same time, under one appointment slot.

The new "sibling walk-in" arrangement will be in place from Mondays to Thursdays at paediatric vaccination centres from Jan 10, said the Ministry of Education (MOE).

In a statement on Monday (Jan 3), MOE said: "This is to provide greater convenience for parents or guardians with more than one child or ward aged five to 11 years and to optimise our available vaccination capacity on Mondays to Thursdays."

Parents or guardians who plan to vaccinate their children or wards under this arrangement should arrive at the vaccination centre by 7pm, it added.

They will need to bring the student identification or other forms of identification such as the birth certificate, passport or SingPass for all of their children or wards.

"We encourage parents or guardians who have booked separate appointments for different children or wards to keep only one desired slot and cancel the remaining bookings on the National Appointment System," the statement said.

However, MOE said it is now unable to accommodate the sibling walk-in arrangement on Fridays to Sundays due to high demand in appointment bookings for the next few weekends.

Seven more paediatric vaccination centres have started offering paediatric vaccinations from Monday as well.

This brings the total number of centres to 14, up from the seven that started operations on Dec 27.

A 15th paediatric vaccination centre at Yusof Ishak Secondary School will start operating from Jan 11.

MOE said parents or guardians intending to vaccinate their children under the arrangement at that school should arrive by 5pm instead of 7pm.

MOE also said that from Wednesday, about 110,000 parents or guardians of Primary 1 to 3 pupils can expect to progressively receive a unique link via SMS to book a vaccination appointment.

From Thursday, parents or guardians of all remaining children aged five to eight may proceed to register their interest on the National Appointment System.

MOE will also hold a webinar – open to 3,000 participants on a first come, first served basis – for parents and guardians from 7.30pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday to address their concerns or queries on Covid-19 vaccination for children.

It added that as at 6pm on Sunday, more than six in 10 Primary 4 to 6 pupils in MOE primary schools have registered for vaccination. Another 9,000 children aged nine to 11 who are not in MOE primary schools have registered their interest too.

In a Facebook post on Monday wishing students a good start to the school year, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said parents who are vaccinating their children can look forward to greater convenience, especially those with more than one child aged five to 11.

On the sibling walk-in arrangement, he said: “This will allow families to vaccinate their children together and avoid separate trips to the vaccination centres.”

Educator William Seah, 40, said he thought the arrangement was helpful, though he would still wait and see how the first few batches of children fare after their vaccination, before putting his children, aged seven and nine, through it.

The father of two said: “If vaccination is shown to have limited side effects, I’d take up this arrangement for my children.

“That said, if complications were to arise, it might not be good if both kids are affected at the same time. I think taking it (vaccination) together has the advantage of mutual support for children who are afraid of needles.”


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