Over 80% sign-up rate for Covid-19 vaccine among S'pore students in graduating cohorts

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing (centre) speaking with people waiting at the MOE vaccination centre at ITE College Central, on June 4, 2021. PHOTO: CMG

SINGAPORE - More than 80 per cent of secondary school and pre-university students in graduating cohorts who have been offered the Covid-19 vaccine have registered to get the jab, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Friday (June 4).

This means that at least 43,000 students have signed up to get vaccinated, after about 52,000 text messages were sent out to parents and students on Tuesday asking them to sign up for the jab.

Meanwhile, more than 75 per cent of eligible polytechnic students and students in their first year of junior college have registered to get vaccinated.

Invitations are being sent out to Primary 6 pupils as well as Secondary 1, 2 and 3 students who are eligible for the vaccine.

The authorities are also expected to start sending invitations to students in the six autonomous universities from next week.

Giving updates on the national vaccination drive that aims to reach more than 400,000 students, Mr Chan said the authorities have been very encouraged by the response rate so far.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, he said: "We are not stopping at where we are. The Ministry of Education (MOE) will continue to reach out to those students and families who may not have registered because some of them might need a bit more help with the registration. Some might need more information."

Mr Chan was speaking at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central in Ang Mo Kio, one of four dedicated vaccination centres for students. It will begin operations on Monday.

The centres are being set up by MOE and the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

There are two other dedicated centres located on ITE college campuses in Choa Chu Kang and Simei. They will open in stages next week.

The fourth centre will be at Raffles City Convention Centre.

The ITE centres, which will be manned by HPB staff, will be able to administer 1,600 doses of the vaccine a day.

The Raffles City centre will be able to do 2,000 doses a day.

All four centres will be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the only vaccine authorised for use in adolescents aged 12 to 17 in Singapore.

Mr Chan said the only difference between the dedicated centres and regular vaccination centres is that the centres on ITE college campuses will have a larger holding area for parents who may be accompanying their children.

Parental consent is required for those below 18 to get their jabs, and parents or guardians will also have to accompany those below 13 to the vaccination appointments.

Asked whether the authorities would consider relaxing mask requirements in schools once a certain percentage of students and teachers are vaccinated, Mr Chan said MOE will take guidance from prevailing Covid-19 protocols.

"There are a lot of safe management measures that must continue to be adhered to, notwithstanding the vaccination rate. We must never be complacent."

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