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HomesingaporeSingapore updates COVID-19 vaccine advisory, recommends new dose about a year after...

Singapore updates COVID-19 vaccine advisory, recommends new dose about a year after last shot

SINGAPORE: Singapore has updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, encouraging people aged six months and above to receive an additional dose in 2023 or 2024.

Previously, the recommendation was for people aged 60 and above, residents of aged care facilities and the medically vulnerable to receive a one-year booster dose.

“Beyond this group, the EC19V (Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination) encourages all individuals aged six months and above to also receive the additional dose for 2023/2024, particularly for healthcare workers and household members/caregivers of medically vulnerable individuals,” the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a media release on Saturday (Oct 28).

Eligible individuals may receive the additional dose about a year – and no earlier than five months – after their last shot.

“EC19V encourages all persons to ensure that their COVID-19 vaccination status is up-to-date and based on the prevailing recommendations for them,” the committee said.

Related:

Singapore approves updated Pfizer vaccine targeting newer COVID-19 variants

Singapore authorises updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine targeting newer Omicron subvariants

UPDATED VACCINES

Following the recent approval of updated COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the Health Ministry said it will progressively roll out the new doses from Oct 30.

The updated formulations, which are designed to target newer variants of COVID-19, will eventually replace all existing ones by Nov 20.

The updated monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, for instance, is aimed at the Omicron XBB.1.5 sublineage which also includes EG.5 or Eris and BA.2.86.

People aged five years and above who wish to receive the updated Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty monovalent vaccine may do so from Oct 30. The vaccine will be available to children aged six months to four years from Nov 20.

For the updated Moderna/Spikevax monovalent vaccine, which similarly targets newer variants, people aged six months and above may receive the jab from Nov 14.

EXTENDED HOURS AT VACCINATION CENTRES

In anticipation of higher demand for the updated vaccines, the operating hours for all Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres will be extended on Saturdays from Nov 4 to Dec 2.

The operating hours on those Saturdays will be from 9am to 7pm, extending beyond the usual 1pm.

“A longer waiting period should be expected on Fridays and Saturdays,” MOH said.

The ministry added that as of Sep 30, reporting rates of adverse reactions and serious adverse reactions for the mRNA vaccines (monovalent and bivalent versions) remained rare at 0.10 per cent and 0.007 per cent respectively. 

The incidence of myocarditis is rare, with reporting rates of 1.0 per 100,000 doses (0.001 per cent) for the monovalent vaccines and 0.4 per 100,000 doses (0.0004 per cent) for the bivalent vaccines. 

“Vaccination remains our primary defence against COVID-19, and continues to be safe and effective,” MOH said.

“Protection from vaccination will wane over time. We therefore encourage all individuals to keep up to date with their vaccination once eligible.”

Operating hours for the Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres can be found here.

People may also receive COVID-19 vaccinations at these clinics.

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