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Additional Covid-19 Vaccine Dose Encouraged For Those 6 Months & Above, Updated Jabs Available From 30 Oct

Additional Vaccine Dose Should Be Obtained In 2023 Or 2024, Says Expert Committee

The pandemic might be over, but Covid-19 is still with us and infecting people.

To that end, an additional dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is being encouraged for those aged six months and above.

Source: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Updated vaccines will be available progressively from 30 Oct.

All individuals should get additional vaccine dose in 2023 or 2024

In a news release from the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (28 Oct), updated vaccine recommendations were issued by the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination (EC19V).

They advised all individuals to receive an additional Covid-19 vaccine dose in 2023 or 2024.

This should be around one year after their last dose and no earlier than five months.

Additional vaccine dose advisory extended to all individuals

While previously this advisory was for seniors and the medically vulnerable, it has now been extended to all aged six months old and above.

They’re encouraged to get the dose, especially if they’re healthcare workers and household members/caregivers of medically vulnerable individuals.

For those at greatest risk of severe disease, i.e. those aged 60 years and above, medically vulnerable individuals and residents of aged care facilities, the additional dose is “recommended”, EC19V said.

Source: Ong Ye Kung on Facebook

In another news release, the committee said that persons at greatest risk of severe disease will benefit most from an enhanced level of protection with an additional dose, adding,

Updated Pfizer & Moderna jabs can give stronger immune response: EC19V

EC19V also recommended that the two primary mRNA vaccines used in Singapore, Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna/Spikevax, be updated to their latest versions based on the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant.

They assessed, based on a review of the scientific data, that the updated vaccines “can provide a stronger immune response” compared with the older versions.

Therefore, they “may confer better protection against Covid-19”, the committee said, adding,

Noting that the updated vaccines were developed based on international recommendations, the EC19V also recognised that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had approved them for use in Singapore.

Source: Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Updated vaccines available from 30 Oct

MOH has accepted the latest updated recommendations of EC19V.

Thus, the ministry will roll out the updated vaccines progressively from Monday (30 Oct) according to the following schedule:30 Oct: All individuals aged five and above may get the Pfizer vaccine.14 Nov: All individuals aged six months and above may get the Moderna vaccine.20 Nov: Children aged from six months to four years may get the Pfizer vaccine

Eventually, the updated vaccines will replace all existing formulations of vaccines by 20 Nov.

Extended operating hours for vaccination centres

As higher demand is anticipated for the updated vaccines, the operating hours of all Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres (JTVCs) will be extended, MOH said.

They will be open on Saturdays from 9am to 7pm instead of closing at 1pm. Longer waiting times may be experienced on Fridays and Saturdays.

Source: Ong Ye Kung on Facebook

Members of the public may get jabbed by walking into any JTVC, or can choose to visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or polyclinic. Do check the location of your nearest centre that offers your choice of vaccine at Vaccinegowhere.

The operating hours of JTVCs can be found here. If a Sunday vaccination slot is preferred, members of the public can check with this list of PHPCs if they open on Sundays for vaccination.

Pfizer & Moderna have obtained full registration

MOH noted that with Covid-19 now endemic, Covid-19 vaccines will no longer be approved under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR).

The vaccines will have to be fully registered, and Pfizer and Moderna have obtained full registration successfully.

The Sinovac vaccine, however, won’t be included under the National Vaccination Programme (NVP) from 30 Sep 2024 unless it applies for full registration. Till then, it’ll be included in the NVP.

Private clinics will continue to offer Sinovac as well as Sinopharm under the Special Access Route (SAR).

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Featured image adapted from Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

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