Singapore Workers Need To Get Booster Shot To Be Considered As Fully Vaccinated
SINGAPORE – The government announced that effective 14 February 2022, people in Singapore will need to get a booster shot within 270 days after the last dose of their main COVID-19 vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated, reported The Business Times on Wednesday evening (5 January, SGT).
Notably, fully-vaccinated individuals in Singapore have advantages over their non-vaccinated peers, like being allowed access to venues and attending events. More importantly, only inoculated individuals are allowed to return to the office effective later this month.
At present, 87 percent of Singapore’s overall population are fully-vaccinated (based on current standards), and 42 percent have received their booster shot.
The requirement to get a booster shot to be deemed as fully vaccinated was recommended by the expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination (EC19V), Singapore’s COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce stated on Wednesday (5 January).
“Even as we accelerate the pace of vaccination and boostering, we must not lose our advantage over the virus, and we need to keep our wall of resilience strong,” said Health Minister and taskforce Co-chair Ong Ye Kung.
“International data has also shown that protection against the Omicron variant from a primary vaccination series is weaker compared to that against the Delta variant, while boosters increase the protection against infection and severe illness from Omicron,” noted the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The announcement comes amidst a rising number of Omicron cases in the city-state. So far, there have been 2,252 detected cases, with the government expecting an Omicron wave “quite soon”.
Currently, Singapore has 3 vaccines under its national vaccination programme: mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as well as China’s Sinovac.
“On that basis, the full vaccination status that is accorded after 2 doses of mRNA vaccines and 3 doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines cannot last in perpetuity. The protection will wane after a few months, and it needs to be restored with a booster,” added Ong.