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Government to begin Sinovac COVID-19 jabs at Raffles City; walk-ins for Moderna booster shots open to more people

Government to begin Sinovac COVID-19 jabs at Raffles City; walk-ins for Moderna booster shots open to more people
File photo of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Individuals can make appointments to receive the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccination at Raffles City Convention Centre from Saturday (Oct 30), with seniors being allowed to walk in without an appointment from Sunday.

"This will greatly expand capacity on top of the private clinics and public healthcare institutions that administer the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine on behalf of the Ministry of Health (MOH)," said the ministry in a press release on Saturday.

Last week, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced that the Sinovac vaccine would be included in the National Vaccination Programme.

People who have not been vaccinated at all can register their interest from Saturday, while those who have taken at least a dose of the Sinovac vaccine can complete their three-dose regime at any of the authorised private clinics. They can book their remaining appointments from Monday if they have not done so.

Those who are unable to take or complete the mRNA vaccination regime due to medical reasons "are encouraged to get vaccinated with Sinovac-CoronaVac", said MOH.

WALK-IN FOR MODERNA BOOSTER

In the press release on Saturday, MOH also announced that, from Monday, people aged 30 and above will be able to walk in to any of the nine Moderna vaccination centres for their booster dose.

Those who can walk in are Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders aged 30 and above who have completed the second dose six months ago.

People who are recommended to receive the booster need not receive the same vaccine they have received for the first two doses, meaning those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine can take the Moderna vaccine for the third dose.

"We encourage all who are eligible but have not taken their booster dose to come forward for it. This is the best protection for you and your loved ones as we journey towards living with COVID-19," said MOH.

Among the nine vaccination centres offering the Moderna vaccine are community clubs located in Buona Vista, Hong Kah, Kebun Baru and Potong Pasir.

It is also offered at Punggol 21 Community Club as well as Radin Mas, Tampines East, Woodlands and Yew Tee community clubs.

Booster vaccination of all migrants workers living in dormitories as well as those who are in the construction, marine and processing sector will be scheduled by the Ministry of Manpower.

MOH STUDY ON BOOSTER EFFECTIVENESS

Since the booster programme started on Sep 14, the authorities have seen a "healthy take up of booster doses among those eligible to receive them", said the ministry.

As of Oct 27, among people invited to take boosters, 80.2 per cent of those aged 60 years and above, 92.7 per cent of those aged 50 to 59 years, and 75.1 per cent of those aged 30 to 49 years have received their booster dose or booked an appointment.

"MOH has studied the COVID-19 positive infection rates of individuals who have received their booster doses vis-a-vis fully vaccinated individuals who have not yet received their booster doses," said the ministry.

It found that booster doses "confer around a further 70 per cent risk reduction against COVID-19 infections, and 90 per cent risk reduction against severe infections".

This is on top of the vaccine effectiveness of 40 to 60 per cent against infection and more than 90 per cent against severe illness for those who have received two doses.

"Hence there is significant protection accorded by boosters on top of the protection that two doses of mRNA vaccines already provide against COVID-19," said MOH.

MOH said that compared to unvaccinated individuals, those who are fully vaccinated and boosted benefit from 80 per cent or more vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection and about 99 per cent against severe illness.

More than 685,000 fully vaccinated seniors above the age of 60 who were eligible for the booster doses were included in the study done between Sep 15 and Oct 22.

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Source: CNA/jt(ac)

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