SINGAPORE - Of the 40 Covid-19 cases in the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, the nine who had received full doses of the Covid-19 vaccinations were either asymptomatic or exhibited mild symptoms, and none had required oxygen support.
Seven of them are staff, while the other two are patients, said Ministry of Health (MOH) director of medical services Kenneth Mak in an update on Tuesday (May 4).
However, among those who had not been vaccinated, seven required oxygen therapy, said Associate Professor Mak at the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 press conference.
One of them, an 88-year-old woman who was warded in Ward 9D, died from Covid-19 complications last Saturday.
"Based on the early phylogenetic information that's available to us, the TTSH cluster (arose) due to a viral variant, but the vaccine appears to have done relatively well against it," said Prof Mak.
Of those who had received full vaccination, they had demonstrated evidence of antibodies to the spike protein of the virus, which is a good response to vaccination, he added.
Though the vaccine does not prevent one from being infected completely, he noted that it safeguards the individual from getting a severe infection and limits further infection.
Five of the cases from the TTSH cluster have the Indian B1167 variant.
The TTSH cluster has at least 24 individuals who are either unvaccinated or had at most one vaccine dose.
"Of these, three are staff members, 14 are patients, and seven are either visitors or caregivers associated with patients who had been admitted into the hospital," said Prof Mak.
He said that at least one of the individuals had received the Moderna vaccine, and the majority had received the Pfizer one. Singapore currently uses both vaccines in its vaccination drive.
"The presence of these viral variants of concern among our local cases affirms our strategy to vaccinate all healthcare workers and prioritise vaccination for older Singaporeans," said Prof Mak.
"Had we not done so, the TTSH cluster would have been significantly larger at this time, and the likelihood of that cluster getting out of control that much greater.
"It is therefore a reminder to all of us that we should get ourselves vaccinated and protected when our time comes and we cannot afford to be complacent," he added.