SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Singapore General Hospital on Friday (Sep 17), almost eight months after completing his second dose.
The Government announced earlier this month that it would start offering booster shots to people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, as well as people aged 60 and above, and residents of aged care facilities.
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee, 69, encouraged others to take the booster shot if it is offered to them.
"Cases are increasing rapidly. A booster jab will strengthen your protection against COVID-19," said Mr Lee.
"If you are offered a booster, please take it. It will reduce your chances of getting seriously ill, or needing ICU care."
Mr Lee completed his vaccination regimen with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in late January.
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination has recommended that people aged 60 and above should receive a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine about six to nine months after having completed their primary course of vaccination regimen.
Seniors who completed two doses at least six months ago will receive an SMS with a personalised link to book an appointment for a third dose, said Mr Lee.
Seniors are at risk of severe COVID-19 infection and may develop a lower immune response from their two-dose vaccination regimen, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) when making the announcement.
This is coupled with the expected decline of their immunity over time, as many were vaccinated earlier, it added.
As for immunocompromised people, they have a "blunted immune response" to vaccination, and are also at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, MOH said then.
They should receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine two months after their second dose, "as part of their primary course of vaccination to ensure that they start off with an adequate protective immune response to vaccination", said MOH.
Immunocompromised individuals will be contacted by their doctors, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Singapore is also studying the possibility of using non-mRNA vaccines as booster shots and is in talks with suppliers to obtain the vials, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said on Tuesday.