Singapore to Open Covid-19 Vaccination Centers, ST Reports

Singapore is setting up special centers to administer Covid-19 vaccinations daily to large groups of people, on top of allowing the jabs to be taken at clinics and other established health-care facilities.

Those centers will be ready “soon,” the city-state’s chief health scientist Tan Chorh Chuan told The Straits Times in an interview published on Monday evening.

The Southeast Asian country, which started its nationwide coronavirus vaccination drive on Dec. 30, is currently using the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Health-care workers and the elderly are among those first in line to be vaccinated, with those aged 70 and above scheduled to receive it from February.

Singapore has already secured enough vaccines for the whole population and expects more deliveries in the next few months, including shots from Moderna Inc. and Sinovac Biotech Ltd., Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in parliament last week. Vaccines from both companies are currently being reviewed by the country’s health regulators.

While data from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has shown that protection can last for about three months, Tan said he expects as more information becomes available it could demonstrate a longer immunity of up to two years. Singapore doesn’t have to stretch out doses like other countries as it has sufficient supply, Tan added.

Though the government has not specified the number of people vaccinated to date, 80 officers from the Home Affairs Ministry involved in front-line health-care operations have been vaccinated. In the coming weeks, 1,050 officers from the ministry will get the injections. Some 50 employees from one nursing home have also been vaccinated, while another 120 health-care workers from the National University Health System, which operates several public hospitals, have also taken the shots.

With cases remaining low, Singapore has eased more virus curbs in recent weeks, such as increasing the maximum gathering capacity limit to eight people from just five earlier. It has also conducted more than 5.6 million swab tests to date.

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