S'poreans who refer seniors over 60 for Covid-19 jab to get $30 HPB vouchers

On July 31, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the number of unvaccinated seniors stood at about 177,000.
On July 31, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the number of unvaccinated seniors stood at about 177,000.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - From Friday (Aug 13) to Nov 30 this year, people who refer seniors for Covid-19 vaccinations can receive $30 worth of vouchers from the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

In a Facebook post on Friday, the HPB said those who provide support to people over 60 in getting the vaccination can receive $30 HPB eVouchers for every successful referral.

The vouchers can be used at businesses that are participating in HPB's rewards programme, including FairPrice, Cathay cinemas, Sakae Sushi and LiHo Tea.

In order to qualify, participants must first register for the programme online. They will then receive an SMS confirmation from HPB.

They must then "actively encourage and support the seniors to be vaccinated", which may include talking about their own experiences with the vaccine and addressing the seniors' concerns, according to HPB's terms and conditions.

They will also have to accompany the senior to vaccination centres where HPB staff are stationed. The list of such centres can be found at this website.

On arrival there, participants must show the confirmation SMS and their NRIC to HPB staff.

Once the senior has been fully vaccinated - defined as two weeks after they have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines - the HPB will credit the vouchers to the participant’s account on its Healthy 365 mobile app. The app aims to encourage users to adopt a healthier lifestyle through activities like daily step challenges.

The referral programme is open to Singaporeans, permanent residents, employment and work pass holders above 17.

This comes as vaccination rates among seniors here inch upwards. Those 60 and above were initially lagging behind other age groups in vaccine uptake despite being the most vulnerable to serious illness from Covid-19.

On July 31, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the number of unvaccinated seniors stood at about 177,000.

Earlier that month, the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 had said that the figure was 200,000.

MOH's nightly update on Singapore's Covid-19 situation for Friday showed that vaccination rates for those aged 60 to 69 are now at 91 per cent while the rate for those aged 70 and above is now at 85 per cent.

Efforts are being made by MOH to reach out to seniors.

Since July 7, mobile vaccination teams alone have managed to get the jabs to 240 individuals, said MOH at the end of July.

These teams go to selected community clubs and centres that are not already being used as vaccination centres, as well as residents' committee centres at residential blocks, in towns including Bukit Merah, Sengkang, Tampines and Yishun.

MOH is also asking general practitioners and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners for their help in persuading their patients and seniors to get vaccinated, Mr Ong has said.