Singapore health minister says republic’s Covid-19 vaccination programme ‘ahead of schedule’, 50pc of population to be fully vaccinated by July 25

About 2.5 million individuals, or 45 per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated as of July 16, 2021. — TODAY pic
About 2.5 million individuals, or 45 per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated as of July 16, 2021. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, July 17 — By the end of next week, 50 per cent of Singapore’s population will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, based on current bookings in the national vaccination programme. 

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who gave this update at a press conference by the Government’s Covid-19 task force yesterday, said that this was “ahead of schedule”. 

“And we are well on track by National Day (August 9) to have at least two-thirds of our population vaccinated,” he added. 

As of Thursday, about 2.5 million individuals, or 45 per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated. 

Ong, who is co-chair of the task force, said that at least four million people have received at least one dose, making up about 73 per cent of the population.

He noted that the sign-up rate for vaccinations has been “very encouraging” over the past couple of weeks across all age groups, except for “the group that needs it the most”, referring to seniors. 

For those aged 70 and above, only 71 per cent have either been vaccinated or have booked an appointment to get vaccinated — lower than 80 per cent and above seen in other age groups. 

To encourage seniors to get vaccinated, the Government is doing several things, including getting all general practitioners and primary care providers to call up senior clients and to encourage them to get vaccinated. 

Volunteers from the Agency for Integrated Care, the Silver Generation Office and the People’s Association have also been knocking on doors and speaking to seniors about the benefits of vaccination.

The Silver Generation Office, for example, has so far reached out to more than 650,000 seniors. 

Volunteers also make arrangements to escort any senior who decides to get their shots to a vaccination centre if they have mobility issues, Ong said, adding that 100 such trips have been arranged so far.

Ten mobile vaccination teams have been rotating as well and visiting neighbourhoods that have more seniors, including housing estates such as Bukit Merah, Yishun and Woodlands. 

Ong again urged anyone who knows an elder who has not been vaccinated to convince them to do so. 

“Please help us, the benefits far outweigh the costs.”  — TODAY

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