People turn up for Covid-19 shots to guard against next wave

People at the Raffles City Convention Centre vaccination centre on June 12, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - While Covid-19 vaccination centres were not crowded on Wednesday (June 22), people who did turn up for their shots said that they did so in anticipation of the next wave of infections which could be around the corner.

At the Raffles City Convention Centre vaccination centre on Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 20 people in the waiting area.

Housewife Evelyn Chua was there with her 12-year-old daughter, who was due for her third shot.

"I'm worried about the new wave as many friends are coming back from overseas," said the 43-year-old. "I want to be prepared for it."

Earlier this month, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore could be hit by the next wave of the virus in July or August due to the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

He advised those who had not done so to get their booster shots.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), 77 per cent of the population has received at least one booster shot. Worryingly however, 80,000 seniors aged 60 and above have yet to get their booster shots, even though this means they would be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill or dying from Covid-19.

In fact, seniors aged 70 years and above, especially those aged 80 years and above, are strongly urged to take their second booster shot to give them added protection.

MOH said on Tuesday that there had been a 23 per cent week-on-week increase in Covid-19 community infections, with the rise largely driven by an increased spread of the Omicron subvariants.

Anyone aged 50 and above can walk in to any vaccination centre for his second booster.

At Hougang Community Club, Ms Irene Tan, 43, was with her daughter, Chloe Tan to get her second shot.

Ms Tan said: "Chloe got Covid-19 in February so she could only get her second jab now. We wanted to get her vaccinated before the centres close."

And Mr Zhang Qian Cheng, 26, a chef who got his booster shot at Queenstown Community Centre, said he was worried that he would be denied entry to bars and clubs in future if he did not get his latest shot.

When The Straits Times visited Queenstown Community Centre at 5pm, Secondary  3 student Tai Yi Wei was resting at the seating area after taking his booster shot.

Yi Wei, 15, said: "None of my family members has gotten Covid-19 and I am worried that we might be infected."

Noting that people around him have tested positive for coronavirus, he added: "I am worried because some of my classmates and relatives have tested positive."

"I want to protect myself and my family from the virus so it is better to just get vaccinated."

From Thursday, five new joint testing and vaccination centres (JTVCs) will begin operations. They are located in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Sengkang, Woodlands and Yishun and each offers two types of Covid-19 vaccines.

The new centres add to the five existing JTVCs in Bishan, Commonwealth, Jurong East, Kaki Bukit, and Pasir Ris.

Correction note: This article has been edited for accuracy.

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