Ministers reiterate PM Lee's call for seniors to get vaccinated against Covid-19

In Singapore, seniors aged 70 and above have a vaccine take-up rate of about 70 per cent, it was reported on July 19, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Three ministers have joined Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in urging the 200,000 seniors aged 60 and above who have yet to be vaccinated to get their jabs as soon as possible.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (July 25), Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean noted that three-quarters of Singapore residents have received their first dose, while about half have received both their jabs.

Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, said countries like Britain and Israel have higher second-dose rates than Singapore, but he also noted they have opened up "quite freely" and now face a rapid rise in new Covid-19 infections.

He said Singapore can learn from what is happening there and our own experience in these few weeks.

"We aim for low, but not necessarily zero, infections, with very low numbers that are seriously sick," Mr Teo wrote.

"Every additional person vaccinated is important - protecting that person and our whole community."

With higher vaccination rates, he said, "our path forward will be wider and on more solid ground. We can... achieve a more stable position and arrive safely together with greater confidence".

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat also urged seniors who have not taken their jabs to stay safe by getting vaccinated.

Noting that he has been repeating this message so often that it might sound like a broken record, he wrote: "We are persevering in sending out this message as unvaccinated seniors have the highest risk of serious complications if they catch the virus."

Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, added that unvaccinated seniors above the age of 60 can walk into any vaccination centre to get their jabs without having to preregister.

"The vaccine is safe. Don't wait till it's too late to protect yourself and your loved ones," he said.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong also mentioned in a Facebook post on Sunday that mobile vaccination teams have been set up across Singapore.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, wrote: "We have made it easier for our seniors to get vaccinated. They can walk into any polyclinic or vaccination centre to get their jab...

"Vaccination can help to protect us and our loved ones. If your parents, grandparents or relatives are still unvaccinated, pass the message to them. Let's all do what we can to help protect our loved ones."

The Ministry of Health has deployed mobile vaccination teams to the heartland, covering 10 towns, including Sengkang, Tampines, Bukit Merah and Yishun.

The posts by PM Lee and the ministers come after a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, which included several seniors, in the past week.

In his Facebook post on Saturday, PM Lee said seniors were at risk of Covid-19 even if they did not go out much as they could catch the virus from friends or family.

He said the disease is dangerous for older people, and even more dangerous for seniors with other medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Last Monday, it was reported that seniors aged 70 and above have a vaccine take-up rate of about 70 per cent.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung wrote in a Facebook post last Friday that the take-up rate has risen in the past few days, with about 1,000 seniors a day coming forward to take their first jabs.

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