People getting first Covid-19 shot surge to over 17,000 after new vaccine-differentiated measures announced

People waiting in the observation area after getting their Covid-19 shots at Tanjong Pagar Community Club on Oct 12, 2021.
People waiting in the observation area after getting their Covid-19 shots at Tanjong Pagar Community Club on Oct 12, 2021.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The week after new vaccination-differentiated measures were announced saw a rise in people getting their booster shots and first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday night (Oct 18) that from Oct 9 to 15, about 17,000 people received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine under the national vaccination programme, while another 162,000 took their booster shots.

In comparison, from Oct 2 to 8, about 11,000 people got their first dose of the vaccine under the national vaccination programme, while about 135,000 received their booster dose.

On Oct 9, the multi-ministry task force tackling the coronavirus said that unvaccinated individuals would no longer be able to dine in, go to shopping malls, hawker centres and coffee shops, or visit attractions from Oct 13.

At the time, it said the move was to protect unvaccinated individuals in the community and to reduce the strain on the healthcare system.

Daily cases had risen to more than 3,000 when the announcement was made.

The same day, the task force also announced that those aged 30 and above would be invited to take Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.

Booster shots have been available to those aged 60 and above since Sept 15, and those aged 50 to 59 since Oct 3.

On Oct 9, the task force also rolled out the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) plan, which would allow vaccinated Singaporeans to travel to 11 countries and return without quarantine.

People The Straits Times spoke to at vaccination centres on Oct 12 cited a variety of reasons for getting their first dose that day, including wanting to dine in and to travel under the VTL scheme.

At the time, clinics and private healthcare institutions running vaccination centres also told The Straits Times that they had seen a rise in people coming to get the vaccine, a majority of whom were looking to get their booster shots.

One such person, Mr Yau Yah Kiang, a 74-year-old retired food and beverage worker, told The Straits Times at the time: "I'm doing this to protect myself - you only stand to lose out if you don't get vaccinated.

"The Government is letting us protect ourselves, and even our leaders have all got vaccinated - and they have so much more to lose."