SINGAPORE: Fifty staff members at the Ren Ci nursing home in Bukit Batok on Monday (Jan 11) became some of the first community care workers in Singapore to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
The staff received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the first to get the jab was the home’s assistant director of nursing Elsie Teo, Ren Ci said in a media release.
“After almost a year of dealing with COVID-19, I am glad that we are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel with the development of the vaccine,” the 66-year-old Ms Teo said.
“I am thankful we are prioritised to be vaccinated now. It gives me added assurance on top of existing safe management measures that I can continue to deliver safe care to the residents in the nursing home.”
The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is working closely with nursing homes to roll out vaccinations for staff in the community care sector, Ren Ci said.
The vaccines were administered at the home by Ren Ci’s internal team, following safety guidelines set by AIC and the Ministry of Health.
Ren Ci management held an online town hall last week to address staff concerns over the voluntary vaccination. Four out of five staff members chose to get vaccinated, said Mr Joe Hau, CEO of Ren Ci Hospital.
Mr Hau said community care staff have a duty to keep elderly nursing home residents safe.
“Taking the vaccination will also help protect us as well as our loved ones at home. I am glad to share that our staff understand the importance of vaccination and we have obtained an overall 80 per cent vaccination take-up rate.”
In response to CNA queries, Ren Ci said the remaining 20 per cent comprised staff members with "existing health conditions" and those who were pregnant, undergoing family planning or currently breastfeeding.
Ren Ci said staff at its Ang Mo Kio nursing home and community hospital in Novena will also be vaccinated in the weeks ahead.
Established in 1994, Ren Ci Hospital is a charity healthcare institution which provides medical, nursing and rehabilitative care to the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.