Most Singapore seniors are done with Covid-19 vaccination process in an hour or less

Patients in observation phase after receiving their Covid-19 jabs at Bishan Community Club, on March 4, 2021. ST PHOTO: LUQMANUL HAKIM

SINGAPORE - Waiting times for getting the Covid-19 vaccine at community clubs (CCs) appear to be acceptable to people, with most able to get in and out in an hour or less.

About 20 people interviewed at Bishan, Serangoon, Teck Ghee and Woodlands Galaxy CCs last week said a significant amount of time was spent on their medical history.

Madam Geraldine Koh, 83, and her husband Eric Wee, 82, who were at Bishan Community Club to get their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, said: "The staff double-checked our medical histories with us before giving us the jab. I think it is good they checked a few times as the elderly can be forgetful sometimes."

The entire process took less than an hour, she said.

While some readers had told The Straits Times about having to wait in line, there were no queues at the CCs on the two mornings that The Straits Times visited last week.

Ms Chan Wei Ling, chief executive of Thomson Medical, which runs the vaccination centre at Bishan CC, said that if there was a hold-up, it was usually caused by people arriving outside of their appointment times.

She urged people to consider booking slots in the afternoon and evening, when the centre is less crowded.

She said: "The sooner more people get vaccinated, the higher the chances of things going back to normal for Singapore."

Singapore rolled out its national Covid-19 vaccination programme on Dec 30.

There are now 15 vaccination centres administering the vaccine. Another 16 centres will be opened progressively over the next few weeks.

There were also no lines at Serangoon CC last Thursday morning, with the observation area filled to about half-capacity. This is where people are monitored after their vaccinations.

Housewife Teresa Ho, 41, was at the CC to accompany her mother who was getting the vaccine. She said staff took her mother's medical history at each step of the process.

Ms Ho said the constant repetition could help jog elderly people's memory on details they might have left out before.

More than 350,000 Singapore residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

More than 40,000 seniors aged 70 and above have received their first doses. The Ministry of Health will be inviting seniors aged 60 and above to get their shots from the end of this month.

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