SINGAPORE - Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 can book their vaccination appointments from Friday (June 11), as the Republic continues to extend its national vaccination programme.
Those who have recovered from Covid-19 infection should also receive a single dose of vaccine as there is evidence indicating that a single dose would further boost their immunity against Covid-19, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Singapore citizens in the 12 to 39 age group will have a two-week priority window to book their appointments, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday.
"This is a big group of about 1.5 million people who have yet to be vaccinated, so Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39 who have yet to be invited will get a two-week priority window to book your vaccination," said Mr Ong at a press conference by a multi-ministry task force on Covid-19.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced in his national address on May 31 that vaccination for those aged 39 and below will commence from mid-June, and that the national vaccination programme will be opened to the rest of the eligible population after a two-week priority period.
This decision was made after Singapore received further confirmation of faster vaccine deliveries over the next two months, and can further boost its vaccination programme given the latest supply schedule.
Mr Ong said on Thursday that Singapore's vaccination exercise was progressing well, with more than 4.4 million doses administered as at Wednesday.
More than 2.5 million people have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. That means about 44 per cent of the population has received at least their first jab, he said.
Nearly three-quarters of seniors above the age of 60 have received at least one dose of the vaccine or have booked an appointment for vaccination, said Mr Ong.
The figure for the age group of 45 to 59 is also 74 per cent. For the group aged 40 to 44, who started vaccination on May 19, the figure is 65 per cent.
For students, about 85 per cent of them have either received their first dose or booked their appointment, he added.
"We're now vaccinating about 49,000 doses on a daily basis, and we have the capacity to maintain this acceleration of our vaccine roll-out, provided our supplies are steady and continue to arrive," he added.
The health minister also gave an update on the effect of the vaccination on severity of illness should someone then catch Covid-19.
Of all Covid-19 cases since April 11, 9 per cent of those who are unvaccinated developed serious disease, he said. This meant that they needed supplementary oxygen or be put in the intensive care unit.
Among those who had been fully vaccinated, only one case required supplemental oxygen, and the patient was already ill before being infected. A total of 131 people who are fully vaccinated have been infected so far.
"In other words, 9 per cent versus less than 1 per cent, in fact less than 0.8 per cent," he said.
In a statement on Thursday, MOH said those in the eligible age group of 12 to 39 can register online at this website.
Children who turn 12 in 2021 must have crossed their birthday before they are eligible to book a vaccination appointment.
After registration, people will be progressively invited to book their vaccination appointments via an SMS with a personalised booking link sent to the mobile number they have registered with, said MOH.
"However, we seek your patience and understanding that the SMS may take up to two weeks for some, as more appointment slots for vaccination will be made available as more supplies arrive," said MOH.
Those who had registered their interest earlier on vaccine.gov.sg will not need to re-register. The invitation to register will be eventually extended to the rest of the population over the coming months, said the ministry.
Children or wards under the age of 18 will require the consent of their parent or guardian to book an appointment. Parents and guardians of their child or ward aged 13 and above are not required to accompany them to the vaccination site on the day of vaccination, unlike for those aged 12 or younger.
For those who have recovered from Covid-19 infection, priority for a single-dose vaccination will be given to those who had an infection from over six months ago.
This is as people who have recovered from Covid-19 are likely to still have a strong immune response within their first six months of infection, said MOH.
Such recovered people will be able to register from Friday if they are part of a population group that is already eligible for vaccination.