Covid-19 has moved across the globe, affecting all countries. The current question on everyone’s mind is about the vaccines and how they are going to be delivered in Singapore. The Ministry Of Health provided some insights at our request and we have compiled the information for you.
Here are 10 things we feel are relevant to know before making your decision about whether to take the vaccine. In Singapore, the vaccine is currently optional to take.
1. When did the vaccines start arriving in Singapore?
- At the end of 2020, Singapore received the first batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Batches of vaccines are expected to continue to arrive in Singapore. Batches are expected to be acquired from Moderna & Sinovac as well.
- Within Asia, Singapore is the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
2. What choice does one have when it comes to the vaccines?
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for usage in Singapore and there is no other choice at the moment.
3. When can one get vaccinated?
Some healthcare workers have already begun to get vaccinated, especially those fighting Covid-19 on the frontlines. On December 30, 2020, the first personnel from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases were vaccinated.
From February 2021, those deemed to be at greater risk of Covid-19 infection including the elderly will start to get vaccinated. Other people that will be prioritised include those in workplaces or scenarios where the infection can be spread easily and quickly.
Migrant workers and those in the CMP sector (construction, marine and process) are examples of this. Next in line would be Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible.
The course that this disease takes in its evolution and the vaccine supply are both factors that can and probably will affect the distribution process.
4. Are appointments necessary to get the vaccines?
- Yes. This is to ensure that the process is carried out efficiently and to minimise waiting times.
- The government has yet to release more information on the appointments.
5. How long does it take for the vaccination process to be completed and your body to be protected?
- There are 2 doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and they are delivered 3 weeks apart.
- After the second dose, it can take up to 2 weeks to achieve the full intended protection against the virus. Therefore the entire process of protecting you can take up to 5 weeks.
6. How much does it cost one to be vaccinated?
- It is free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and long-term residents.
- Long-term residents are:
- Employment Pass holders
- S-Pass holders
- Work Permit holders
- Foreign Domestic Workers
- Dependant’s Pass holders
- Long-Term Visit Pass holders
- Student Pass holders
- It is not free for short-term visit pass holders like tourists.
7. Who is the vaccine not recommended for until further data has been collected?
- People with severe allergies to medications
- Pregnant women
- Immunocompromised persons (such as those suffering from Cancer)
8. Are the vaccines versatile enough to protect against new strains of the virus?
- Research is being done by Pfizer and Moderna to ascertain that the current vaccines can defend against new strains of the virus.
- Singapore’s vaccination strategy and its border control measures will be tweaked according to the outcome of the research.
9. Can the vaccines have unexpected side effects?
- Allergic reactions can occur including anaphylaxis.
- An observation of 30 minutes will be conducted for each person after the injection to treat any side effects that might arise.
- Financial support will be provided by the Singapore Government to those with serious side effects who need treatments.
- Details on this matter are expected to follow soon.
10. How does one keep themselves covered internationally?
In case you are not a long-term pass holder in Singapore, and are travelling to another country, or back home overseas, APRIL International offers international cover for vaccinations as one of the many benefits of our international health insurance plans.
Do you want to learn more about how we cover costs associated with COVID-19? Find the answers to your questions in our COVID-19 FAQ available here.
Note : This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
We advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours. Please visit this page for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation.
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