Giving an update on Singapore’s vaccination exercise so far, PM Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore has made good progress since vaccinations started in December last year.
Healthcare and frontline workers, and the majority of those 45 years old and above, have already received at least their first dose, while vaccination of those aged 40 to 44 is underway.
The Covid-19 multi-ministry taskforce has announced that Singapore will be speeding up vaccinations in the next two months and prioritise the first dose of vaccinations.
This is currently in progress as the government works towards protecting as many Singaporeans as possible as it can, especially with the emergence of the new Covid-19 variants.
PM Lee stressed that this approach will quickly provide the maximum number of people with good protection, instead of a good number of people with maximum protection.
However, the hurdle lies in limited vaccine supply. PM Lee said that the government has been working hard to confirm and speed up deliveries of vaccines from suppliers, adding that the nation has received further confirmation of faster vaccine deliveries over the next two months.
The latest supply schedule will allow the country to further boost its vaccination programme and offer the vaccine to everyone, even sooner than expected.
Students will be next
PM Lee said that the next group to be vaccinated will be students as there has been an increased cases of children getting infected in schools and tuition centres in the latest outbreak.
He added that the government will take advantage of the June holidays to vaccinate them. Bookings will open tomorrow (June 1), with priority given to the graduating cohorts for O, N, and A levels, as well as special needs students.
Other students 12 years and above will be next, including students in institutions of higher learning.
After Singapore has vaccinated students, it will move on to vaccinate the final remaining group of young adults 39 years and younger. This should start around mid-June.
Noting that this group is quite large, he said that the Singaporeans among them will be given a two-week priority window to book their appointments first, before the government opens it up to the rest who want to be vaccinated.
Today, nearly four in 10 residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine. PM Lee outlined the next target, which is to get two-thirds of residents vaccinated with at least the first dose.
With the accelerated vaccination programme, the country should be able to do this by early July, provided supplies come in as planned, he added.
Everyone who is eligible for a vaccination and wants one should be able to get at least their first jab by National Day. PM Lee further urged Singapore residents, old and young, to come forward to be vaccinated once it is their turn.
With the more infectious virus strains, Singapore needs as many people as possible to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity or get close to it, he said, adding that this is the way to make everyone safe and resume more normal activities.
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