Singapore introduces Covid boosters for immunocompromised seniors


A woman walks across a bridge in Singapore on August 16, 2021, with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Resort in the background.

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SINGAPORE – Singapore introduces Covid booster vaccinations for people aged 60 and over, residents of nursing homes and people with weakened immune systems.

In a press release on Friday, the Ministry of Health said the elderly are eligible for a third dose six to nine months after their second dose, while moderately to severely immunocompromised people are advised to receive a booster dose two months after their second dose.

These groups were chosen because contracting Covid-19 puts them at higher risk of serious illness and may have a weaker immune response after the first two doses of the vaccine.

Seniors are encouraged to register for their third dose via text message, while health care providers offer booster injections to immunocompromised individuals. The booster program is scheduled to start this month.

Countries like Israel and the United States have already started giving third doses of the vaccine.

Singapore has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 81% of the population receiving two doses of the vaccine. More than 84% of the population received their first dose, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said during a news conference on Friday.

Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the city-state, however, with clusters around public bus stations, dormitories for migrant workers and a mall since the restrictions were eased in August.

Elevated Tests

Local authorities are also trying to speed up Covid tests, including self-tests.

“We recommend everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated, to regularly perform self-tests with antigen rapid test kits (ART) out of social responsibility, especially if they take part in activities with a higher risk or take part in major events.” they said in the press release.

Employers can also introduce regular Covid tests to prevent workplace clusters.

As of Thursday, 67,991 coronavirus cases had been confirmed in Singapore since the pandemic began, 55 people have died from the disease and its complications.