SINGAPORE - Those who are unable to leave home but want to receive the Covid-19 vaccine will soon be able to get the jabs at home, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (May 18).
Home vaccination teams, comprising a doctor and a nurse, will be sent to their homes to administer the shot.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced the new service at a multi-ministry task force press conference, during which he said that close to two million people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far.
Of this group, more than 1.4 million have completed the full regimen of two doses. A total of 3.4 million doses have been administered.
MOH said the overall vaccination take-up rate has been "encouraging".
Among eligible senior citizens above 60, who are more likely to suffer from severe Covid-19 symptoms, about 71 per cent have been vaccinated or booked appointments for their shots.
For those in the 45 to 59 age group, close to 66 per cent have done so.
Mr Ong said some elderly people might be bed-bound or homebound, and unable to go to vaccination centres.
For this group, MOH will work with the Health Promotion Board and Agency for Integrated Care to deploy home vaccination teams to vaccinate them.
The ministry said in a press release that those receiving home medical, nursing or personal care services can let their current care service providers know if they are interested.
Otherwise, they will be approached by their service providers to determine their interest.
Those who are not receiving such home care services can appeal to be vaccinated at home by calling the MOH hotline on 1800-333-9999.
"We seek the understanding of the public that this service is strictly meant for persons who are homebound," MOH said. "Persons who are not homebound are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to get vaccinated at any of the vaccination sites, when vaccination is offered to them."
The release also noted that there are now a total of 40 vaccination centres islandwide, on top of 20 polyclinics and 22 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) where individuals can be vaccinated.
All vaccination centres are wheelchair-friendly, said the ministry, adding that "together, these ensure that every Singaporean and long-term resident in Singapore who is medically eligible can receive their vaccinations conveniently".
A study by the Institute of Policy Studies released in April found that two in three Singaporeans are willing to take the vaccine if it were offered to them, with about half the population still concerned about efficacy, safety and potential side effects. The think-tank also reported that among the population, younger Singaporeans are more likely to be concerned about vaccine safety than those who are older.