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People found positive for COVID-19 via rapid self-tests should get booster dose: MOH

People found positive for COVID-19 via rapid self-tests should get booster dose: MOH

The COVID-19 vaccine being administered at Kolam Ayer Community Club, Singapore, on Apr 21, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: People found to have been infected with COVID-19 - but performed only an antigen rapid test (ART) on their own - should get a booster vaccine dose, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Jan 29).

They are advised to get the booster jab from about five months after the last dose of their primary series, in order to maintain their full vaccination status beyond the initial 270 days, MOH added.

This also applies to those who were discovered positive after undergoing rostered routine testing or pre-event testing. 

"These individuals will typically undergo self-isolation under Protocol 2, recover and then resume normal activities. There is, therefore, no record of their infection in our medical records," MOH said in a media release.

If their infection is reflected in their medical records, via HealthHub, they can choose not to take the booster dose, said the ministry. This covers people who saw a doctor when they were infected or whose infection was detected when they travelled into Singapore. 

"The infection episode can be considered as your booster dose. The update of your status is automatic, and no action is required on your part," MOH added.

Nevertheless, the ministry recommended that people who have recovered from COVID-19 get a booster shot. 

"A booster dose will confer longer protection into the future. As recommended by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination, it is safe for persons who have recovered from COVID-19 to receive a booster dose," it said. 

"Our vaccination centres have been instructed to administer the booster dose to you and you will not be turned away."

MOH said it is working on a calculator on its website to help people determine if they need to take boosters to extend the validity of their vaccination status. 

"But a simple rule of thumb is - two doses of an mRNA vaccine or three doses of Sinovac/Sinopharm confer full vaccination status for 270 days. A booster or an infection recorded in our medical records after that will extend the validity," the ministry said.

It also advised people against taking serology tests to try to exempt themselves from a booster dose, saying that such tests are "not a strong indication of resilience" against severe illness caused by COVID-19.

"A positive serology can be generated due to vaccinations or infections, without clear indication of timing, and does not provide a good basis to decide if the individual can be exempted from boosters," said MOH.

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Source: CNA/yb(gs)

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