Singapore studying whether additional Covid-19 booster shots are needed: Kenneth Mak

No recommendations have been made on additional jabs for those who have already received a booster shot. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Expert Committee On Covid-19 Vaccination is studying whether children require booster shots, and whether other age groups require more than one booster shot.

Singapore's director of medical services Kenneth Mak told a press conference on Friday (March 11) that the data on these areas are still "very nascent".

"We're watching the experiences of other countries," he said.

"We're looking at our own local studies on how good the protection from the existing boosters is, whether or not that will wane, and whether that will translate eventually to increased risk of reinfections and infections arising."

Associate Professor Mak said no recommendations have been made on additional jabs for those who have already received a booster shot, but an announcement will be made if a decision is reached.

He added that the committee is also studying whether further boosters are needed for more vulnerable people, and whether boosters are needed for children.

From next Monday, those aged 12 to 17 who have completed their primary vaccination series will be considered fully vaccinated for only 270 days after receiving the last dose.

They will require a booster dose to maintain their vaccinated status thereafter, if they are eligible for it.

But Prof Mak noted that those under 18 received their primary vaccination series much later than the rest of the population.

"For the majority of these children, they still have robust protection from the vaccines. We will continue to monitor them and determine whether there's a need for boosters in the future," he said.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said at the press conference of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 that there is also a risk of new variants emerging, which may require a reassessment of whether additional boosters are needed.

"We will need to continue to monitor the situation and watch how the epidemic evolves," said Mr Gan, who co-chairs the task force.

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