SINGAPORE - More than two million Covid-19 vaccine doses are expected to be administered in Singapore over the next two months.
This is “critically important” as the country prepares for the emergence of the new Omicron variant, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Dec 11).
On Friday night (Dec 10), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that children from five to 11 years old will be able to receive the vaccine, and individuals aged between 18 and 29 who have completed their primary vaccination at least five months ago can get their booster shots.
Mr Ong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic, said: “Preliminary studies have shown that it is more transmissible than (the Delta variant).
“Hence, it will be a matter of time before it establishes itself all over the world, and even overtakes Delta as the dominant variant.”
Initial indications show that Omicron infections cause milder symptoms, he added.
But, because of its potentially high transmissibility, “even a small proportion of people falling very sick can put our healthcare system under severe pressure”, Mr Ong said.
Children from five to 11 years old will be able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine from the end of the month.
Vaccination for this group is expected to begin once new batches of the vaccine are received.
The children will be given smaller doses - one-third of that used for those aged 12 and above - and the jabs will be spaced at least 21 days apart.
Mr Ong said the Ministry of Education will follow up with detailed announcements regarding this.
He also urged those who are not vaccinated to get their shot, and for those who are due to get their booster shot.
The minister said Singapore currently has more Moderna stocks than Pfizer-BioNTech, and will receive more deliveries in January next year.
"MOH encourages you not to wait, and if due, go get your booster shots regardless of which mRNA vaccine," he said.
"This is the best way to get prepared for Omicron."