SINGAPORE - Those who have taken their second dose of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine on or before Aug 31 have to get their third dose by Dec 31 if they want to maintain their fully vaccinated status from Jan 1.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said last Thursday (Dec 2) that it has sent SMS reminders to about 70,000 people who are due for their third jab.
Unsure about what will happen to your vaccination status if you do not get your third shot by Dec 31? The Straits Times answers your questions.
Q: I've had two doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine. When am I due for my third dose?
A: You are eligible for your third dose at least three months after the second dose.
Q: Will I lose my fully vaccinated status if I don't get my third dose by Dec 31?
A: Those who have taken two doses of either the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine will be regarded as fully vaccinated for four months after the second dose, or until Dec 31, whichever is later.
MOH is reminding those who have taken their second dose at least three months ago to get their third jab before their fully vaccinated status loses validity.
If you took your second dose on Nov 1, for example, you will be regarded as fully vaccinated until Feb 1, 2022. Your vaccination status will not be revoked on Jan 1.
But if you had taken your second dose on or before Aug 31, you have to get your third jab by Dec 31 or risk losing your fully vaccinated status on Jan 1.
Q: What happens if I lose my fully vaccinated status?
A: Your vaccination status will show "additional dose needed". This means that you will be subject to vaccination-differentiated safe management measures that restrict you from going to places like shopping malls and libraries.
Q: If I had two doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine, do I have to continue with either vaccine for my third jab?
A: No, you do not have to do so. MOH has "strongly encouraged" this group of people to opt for an mRNA vaccine - Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna - for their third dose, unless they are medically ineligible. They can walk into any vaccination centre offering mRNA vaccines.
Q: I had an allergic reaction to the first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) and opted for Sinovac for my second. What vaccine should I get for my third dose and when do I need to get it?
A: MOH said that these people should continue with Sinovac for the third dose and that it must be taken 28 days after their second dose for them to maintain their fully vaccinated status.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.