SINGAPORE - Singapore will start Covid-19 vaccination for seniors aged 70 and above from next Wednesday (Jan 27), starting with pilots in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar, where larger numbers of the elderly reside.
Between 5,000 and 10,000 seniors in each of the two housing estates will be invited to get vaccinated, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong during a press conference by the multi-ministry task force for Covid-19 on Friday (Jan 22).
"Depending on the response, we may increase or reduce the number. Soon after the pilot... we will begin to roll out to other areas, other precincts progressively," he added.
Two vaccination centres at Teck Ghee Community Club and Tanjong Pagar Community Club will be set up by Feb 1.
But Mr Gan said that from next Monday (Jan 25), seniors in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar will be able to book their appointments for vaccinations at polyclinics.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said seniors would receive letters inviting them to book appointments for their vaccinations either online or at selected community centres near them.
Volunteers from the People's Association and Silver Generation Ambassadors will also conduct house visits and tap existing grassroots events to answer queries and help seniors book appointments if necessary.
Information sheets will be issued to seniors, who can call the MOH hotline if they need further assistance.
The two pilots will help MOH iron out operational processes before it proceeds to scale up the programme nationwide, with vaccinations to be progressively extended to all seniors from mid-February.
MOH added that more vaccination centres will be set up over the next few weeks to ensure that all seniors can conveniently receive their vaccinations at a centre near where they live.
These centres will be located in high-population catchment areas or near public transport routes for greater accessibility.
Tender documents issued by MOH earlier this week revealed that it was seeking to appoint a vendor to set up 36 centres from February.
Last week, Mr Gan said eight vaccination centres would be set up by the end of February.
Singapore's nationwide vaccination effort kicked off on Dec 30 last year. It plans to have enough vaccines for all citizens and long-term residents by the third quarter of 2021.
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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.