SINGAPORE: More than 26,000 students have signed up for COVID-19 vaccinations on the first day of registration.
This is more than half of the number of students who have been invited to register for vaccinations so far, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (Jun 1) on Channel 5’s News Tonight.
Mr Chan announced on Monday that more than 400,000 students aged 12 and above will be invited to register for vaccinations from Tuesday, with the earliest slots available from Jun 3.
The exercise started with graduating cohorts from secondary schools and at the pre-university levels, in particular, students sitting for the GCE N-, O- or A-Level examinations later this year, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a separate press release on Monday.
READ: More than 400,000 students aged 12 and above to receive COVID-19 vaccination invite from Jun 1
READ: Singapore accelerates national COVID-19 vaccination programme, students the next group to be inoculated
Mr Chan said on Tuesday there was no "specific target" as to the number of students to be vaccinated during the June school holidays.
“Our goal was really to offer to all the students that are eligible medically to do so, and we hope that they will sign up as soon as possible, because that will allow us to create a safer environment for everyone before they return back to school,” said Mr Chan.
“So we would want to achieve as high a number as possible.”
Mr Chan added that parents are "very mature" and have "read the materials" regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for children.
"Before we approve the use of the vaccine, we have gotten the available scientific evidence to assure ourselves that this is something that is safe for our children before we allow it to be used in the country," said the minister, adding that other countries such as the US and Israel have also rolled out vaccination programmes for children as well.
A MUTATING VIRUS
Mr Chan said that schools will use "a whole suite of things" to deal with COVID-19.
“In this fight with the COVID-19 virus, we must always remember that it is a multi-dimensional challenge and we cannot just depend on one particular tool in our arsenal,” he added.
"Even with vaccination, we must continue to maintain the safe management measures, we must also continue to uphold our personal hygiene and the cleanliness of our environment."
Mr Chan said there are four dedicated centres for the vaccination of students - three are in ITEs and one more in the Raffles Convention Centre.
The Education Minister added that the virus is "mutating".
“It will keep challenging us in the way we manage the virus, and how we control it, how we provide a safe environment for ourselves. And we must never be complacent and fall into the trap thinking that one set of methods will always be able to cater to a mutating virus," said Mr Chan.
“As the virus mutates, we must also update our ways which we control the disease and how to protect ourselves."