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Singapore will be rolling out the vaccine booster programme from Sep. 14 to “maintain the high level of vaccine protection”, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in a press release on Friday, Sep. 10.

Previously announced on Sep. 3, the vaccine booster programme would commence for the following subgroups:

  • seniors aged 60 years and above, as well as residents of aged care facilities, and
  • persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Seniors 60 and above

Seniors 60 years and above, as well as residents of aged-care facilities, who have completed their vaccination regimen with two doses at least six months ago, will be progressively invited to receive their booster dose of a Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) mRNA vaccine.

An SMS with a personalised booking link will be sent to the mobile number that they had registered with earlier for their first two doses, for them to book a new appointment here.

Eligible residents of aged care facilities can also look forward to receiving their booster dose in the coming weeks.

According to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, speaking in a Multi-Ministry Task Force press conference on Sep. 10, 900,000 seniors aged 60 and above will be eligible.

Some 200,000 messages will be sent to those who took their second shots in March or earlier to remind them to make appointments.

Booster shots will also be administered to individuals in nursing homes.

Immunocompromised individuals

As for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and have completed their two doses of the PSAR mRNA vaccines, they are encouraged to receive a third dose of the same PSAR mRNA vaccine two months after their second dose.

However, MOH advised them to consult their treating specialist, who would have the best understanding of their medical condition, prior to receiving their third dose.

According to MOH, these precautions are needed as immunocompromised persons are at risk of severe Covid-19. As such, a protective immune response from vaccination will be important to reduce this.

Evidence has shown that persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised have a blunted immune response to the two-dose Covid-19 vaccination.

However, studies have revealed that a third dose increases the likelihood that immunocompromised persons develop a robust protective immune response.

Eligible individuals may thereafter receive the vaccination in a hospital or Specialist Outpatient Clinic of their treating specialist, if these are offering vaccinations, the ministry added.

Alternatively, they may obtain a referral form duly completed by their treating specialist, and subsequently walk into any Vaccination Centre for their third dose.

Top image adapted via Raffles Medical Group/Facebook

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