Walk-in for Covid-19 jabs off to smooth start, with most waiting just 5-10 minutes

The Ministry of Health said that a longer waiting period should be expected on days when there is high demand for vaccinations. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The walk-in option at vaccination centres for people to get their Covid-19 jabs got off to a smooth start on Wednesday, with most saying they waited between five and 10 minutes for their turn.

From Wednesday, eligible individuals of any age group can walk into joint testing and vaccination centres (JTVC) and children vaccination centres from Mondays to Saturdays without the need for an appointment.

Previously, only those aged 50 and above could walk into any JTVC to get vaccinated without an appointment. 

Covid-19 vaccinations at polyclinics and Public Health Preparedness Clinics will continue to require an appointment, except for seniors aged 80 and above for polyclinics.

When The Straits Times visited three JTVCs on Wednesday afternoon, groups of between 20 and 50 individuals were seen at each location.

Most of the 21 people ST spoke to said the waiting time to receive their jab at the centres was between five and 10 minutes.

Shipping manager Henry Lee waited only two minutes to get his fourth jab at JTVC Ang Mo Kio in preparation for his upcoming overseas trip in February.

“The people here have done a good job at simplifying the process. They asked if I was here for vaccination, what type of vaccine I wanted, and directed me to the right place. The queues moved very quickly,” said the 60-year-old.

Over at JTVC Yishun, supervisor Jack Tan and his wife said they went there for their fourth jab after reading the news about the walk-in option. The 32-year-old said the vaccination process seemed to be faster compared with the previous times when he took his jabs.

At JVTC Kaki Bukit, Mr Fathul Rahman, who is in national service, was there for his fourth jab on Wednesday as it was his day off.

The 23-year-old said he decided to take the shot after his superior advised him to do so. “At the same time, I also wanted to take the jab for my own health and safety,” he added.

Similarly, hairstylist Dianne He took her second booster jab at the same centre as a precautionary measure against the virus. 

“It’s very hard to know what this virus can do to our health in future. So the best thing to do is to get jabbed to protect myself and my customers,” said the 48-year-old.

Though crowd levels were manageable on Wednesday, staff at the JTVCs said they expect more people to show up in the coming days.

The Ministry of Health said a longer waiting period should be expected on days when there is high demand for vaccinations, particularly on Saturdays.

Expecting bigger crowds soon, a staff member at JTVC Ang Mo Kio, who declined to be named, said: “We are preparing additional manpower so that we can cater to more people.” 

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