Over 1 in 3 in S'pore have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Health has said Singapore's overall vaccination take-up rate is encouraging.
The Ministry of Health has said Singapore's overall vaccination take-up rate is encouraging.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - More than two million individuals, or over one in three people in Singapore, have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (May 21).

A milestone had been crossed, and these people now have good protection against the virus, he wrote on Facebook.

"With vaccine supplies remaining steady, we can cover 4.3 million people with first jabs by end-July," he said.

"Rest assured that we are committed to complete the two-dose regimen. Our end goal to offer maximum protection to all is unchanged."

On Tuesday, he said at a press conference that close to two million people had received at least one dose of the vaccine so far.

Of this group, more than 1.4 million had completed the full two-dose regimen, with a total of 3.4 million doses administered then.

Then, Mr Ong also announced a change in vaccination strategy - to have the interval between the first and second jabs extended to six to eight weeks, up from three to four weeks.

This would maximise vaccine coverage without materially impacting the overall immune response, as long as the second dose is eventually given, he said, adding that it also means that virtually all eligible Singapore residents should get at least one dose by early August.

The Ministry of Health also said then that the overall vaccination take-up rate was encouraging.

Among eligible senior citizens above 60, who are more likely to suffer from severe Covid-19 symptoms, about 71 per cent had been vaccinated or had booked appointments for their shots.

For those in the 45 to 59 age group, close to 66 per cent have done so.

"Each dose is precious and I hope that all of us will take up the vaccination offer," said Mr Ong.

"This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones."