Coronavirus Singapore

Volunteers to help seniors make bookings for their Covid-19 jabs

Those aged 70 and above to get letters on the process; they will start getting jabs later this month

The first group of front-line airport workers getting their Covid-19 vaccine injections at Changi Airport Terminal 4 yesterday.
The first group of front-line airport workers getting their Covid-19 vaccine injections at Changi Airport Terminal 4 yesterday. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT

Seniors will get help to make bookings for their Covid-19 jabs as the Government steps up its roll-out of the vaccine, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs Singapore's multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, announced yesterday that the elderly will start receiving their shots from later this month.

Letters will be sent out to inform them when they can make bookings for their vaccinations.

Volunteers will be trained to help seniors make online bookings via a booking system, and information in different languages will be given out at Housing Board estates.

"This process will take a bit of time. So, we will also step up our outreach and engagement efforts, particularly to the elderly across all our HDB estates, to let them know what this is about... and also to help them with the booking because not everybody will be familiar with the IT system," Mr Wong said.

The Government had previously announced that seniors aged 70 and above would start getting jabs from next month, but this has been brought forward.

Mr Wong said seniors will be invited to go to a polyclinic, Public Health Preparedness Clinic or vaccination centre nearest to them for their jab.

The booking system is required to avoid a wastage of vaccines, where the jabs are prepared but no one is there to receive them, added Mr Wong, who spoke to the media after receiving his Pfizer-BioNTech jab at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital yesterday.

After the elderly, vaccines will be progressively made available to other segments of the population.

Mr Wong said this will be done in phases, and timed together with the arrival of vaccine shipments.

"We do expect a significant ramp-up from now onwards, and once again, we would encourage everyone to step forward, be vaccinated when you are offered the chance to be vaccinated," he added.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Health said residents and clients in the community care sector will also progressively be vaccinated. Nursing homes have begun engaging residents and their next of kin on the vaccinations, added the ministry.

Singapore has about 80 nursing homes, housing some 16,000 residents.

More details on the vaccination for seniors will be provided later.

Singapore's Covid-19 vaccination exercise began on Dec 30. Since then, more than 6,200 people have received the vaccine.

Eight vaccination centres will be set up by the end of next month. Two centres - at Changi Airport Terminal 4 and Raffles City Convention Centre - are already operational.

In a Facebook post, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said vaccination for air crew and front-line airport workers began at T4 yesterday, and for marine pilots, crew and workers who have to go on board ships, at Raffles City.

The workers were vaccinated in small groups as an "operational warm-up" before full-scale operations next week, Mr Ong said.

"I will be at T4 with the CEOs of key aviation companies next Monday to explain the significance of this exercise," he added.

  • The locations of vaccination centres

  • By the end of this month, four Covid-19 vaccination centres will be operational, and two of them started running yesterday.

    There will be four more centres by the end of next month, making it possible to vaccinate large numbers of people.

    More centres will progressively be opened as Singapore expands its vaccination programme.

    This is where the first four are located:

    1 South: Raffles City Convention Centre (252 North Bridge Road)

    2 East: Changi Airport Terminal 4 (10 Airport Boulevard)

    3 North: Woodlands Galaxy Community Club (31 Woodlands Avenue 6)

    4 West: Former Hong Kah Secondary School (931 Jurong West Street 42)

    Yuen Sin

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2021, with the headline Volunteers to help seniors make bookings for their Covid-19 jabs. Subscribe