People aged 50 and above may get second COVID-19 booster at vaccination centres with mRNA shots: MOH
SINGAPORE: People aged 50 to 59 who want to get their second COVID-19 booster shot may do so from Friday (Jun 10) by walking into any vaccination centre offering mRNA vaccines, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
This is an expansion from the 60-79 age group that the ministry previously offered second booster shots to.
The expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination has since assessed that people aged 50 to 59 who wish to take their second booster may also do so about five months after their first booster shot.
“This is in view of data indicating that the risk of severe COVID-19 increases in the age group of 50 to 59 as well,” said MOH. "This is also around the age when chronic diseases start to set in."
Individuals aged 80 and above are "strongly recommended" to get their second booster, as previously announced, it noted.
BOOSTER FOR MEDICALLY VULNERABLE PEOPLE
The ministry also announced that from Jul 1, medically vulnerable people aged 18 and above with certain health conditions will no longer require a doctor's referral to receive a second booster shot. They may do so after declaring their condition.
These include diabetes, heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, stroke, cancer on active treatment and obesity.
Health conditions of medically vulnerable people recommended to get second booster
2. Heart conditions such as heart failure, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy
3. Chronic lung conditions, including severe asthma
4. Chronic liver conditions, including cirrhosis
5. Chronic kidney conditions, including dialysis
6. Chronic neurologic conditions, including stroke
7. Cancer on active treatment
8. Blood conditions such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia
9. Immunodeficiencies, including HIV infection
10. Obesity (BMI more than 30)
11. Genetic or metabolic conditions, including Down’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis
12. People on non-cancer immunosuppressive treatment
Other medically vulnerable people will continue to be able to receive the second booster by providing a referral memo from their treating doctors.
MOH said more details on the template of the self-declaration form will be announced in the coming weeks on its website.
As for people who are taking their first two doses of their COVID-19 vaccines in the primary series, MOH encouraged them to book their shots eight weeks apart.
“Recent international data has shown that a wider gap of eight weeks between the initial two doses of COVID-19 primary series vaccinations may provide better vaccine protection for individuals,” said the ministry.
The current minimum interval between the first two doses continues to be 21 days for the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty and Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccines, and 28 days for the Moderna/Spikevax and Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccines.
“This helped to expedite early protection against COVID-19 during the acute phase of the pandemic,” MOH noted.However, those who need to complete their primary series sooner, particularly those who are at risk of exposure to the virus or more susceptible to severe disease, may opt for a shorter interval between the two doses, as long as it is not below the minimum interval, the ministry added.