SINGAPORE - Seniors who have taken their vaccine booster shots are three times less likely to die or become severely ill from Covid-19, compared with those in the same cohort who had only two shots, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (June 20).
Seniors with all three shots have a three in 1,000 chance of these negative outcomes, while those with two shots have a 10 in 1,000 chance of this happening.
Those who remain unvaccinated are at the highest risk, with a 40 in 1,000 chance of death or critical illness requiring intensive care.
"It makes a difference whether you have taken zero, one, two or three shots," Mr Ong said in a video clip uploaded on TikTok, where he urged the elderly to get their shots ahead of the next Covid-19 wave.
"So don't delay any more - go get your booster shot."
There are currently 80,000 people aged 60 and above who have not taken their booster shots.
Singapore began rolling out its booster shot programme nine months ago, starting with seniors, residents of aged-care facilities and people who have weakened immune systems.
At present, 77 per cent of the country's total population, or around 4.2 million people, have had booster shots.
Mr Ong said seniors can walk into any vaccination centre to get their shots, adding that the Ministry of Health will deploy mobile vaccination teams soon.
He had previously warned that Singapore is likely to see another Covid-19 wave in July or August.
This will be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, which were first detected in South Africa. Although the new variants are believed to be more transmissible, they have not been linked to higher hospitalisation and death rates.
"In the next one to two months, we expect a new Omicron wave," Mr Ong said in the video. "But not to worry - with vaccination we can all be safe."