SINGAPORE - Seniors in Ang Mo Kio began receiving Covid-19 jabs at the Ang Mo Kio polyclinic on Wednesday (Jan 27), under a pilot scheme that will eventually be expanded to seniors in other precincts.
With appointment letters in hand, they began streaming into the polyclinic from as early as before 9am.
This includes retiree Ang Beng Giap, 73, who received the Covid-19 vaccine at around 9.30am. "I wanted to get the jab so that my family members won't have to worry about me getting the virus," he said.
The process of booking an appointment was a smooth one, he said.
"I received a letter on Monday and went down to the community centre the next day to book a slot. It wasn't much trouble at all," said Mr Ang, who used to run his own business.
Seniors in Ang Mo Kio as well as Tanjong Pagar have been invited to get vaccinated under the scheme, and between 5,000 and 10,000 in each of the two towns will receive letters inviting them to book appointments to do so, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said last week. This number may increase or be reduced, depending on the response.
The two pilots will help the Ministry of Health (MOH) iron out operational processes before it proceeds to scale up the programme nationwide, with vaccinations to be progressively extended to all seniors from mid-February.
Vaccines will also be offered to seniors in community vaccination centres at Tanjong Pagar Community Club (CC), as well as Teck Ghee CC in Ang Mo Kio. Each of the 24 towns here will have one community vaccination centre by end-March.
Each community vaccination centre will be able to give 2,000 vaccinations per day, from 8am to 10pm, but that can be adjusted based on the number of booths set up.
Volunteers from the People's Association and Silver Generation Ambassadors will conduct house visits and tap existing grassroots events to answer queries and help seniors book appointments, if necessary. Appointment bookings can be made either online or at selected community centres near them.
Information sheets will be issued to seniors, who can call the MOH hotline if they need further assistance.
The MOH said last week that more than 60,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine since the vaccination drive started.
Singapore plans to have enough vaccines for all citizens and long-term residents by the third quarter of this year.