Singapore extends COVID-19 vaccination to essential services personnel and high risk groups

Photo courtesy: Facebook/Singapore Ministry of Health
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Singapore Ministry of Health

The Singapore government has decided to extend vaccination to essential frontline workers and other higher risk groups. The Expert Committee on COVID-19 vaccination has recommended prioritising frontline workers who are at higher risk of exposure to the virus, including those working in the aviation and maritime sectors, as well as specific groups who are of critical importance to the functioning of Singapore. 

MOH, together with relevant government agencies and statutory boards, have been progressively offering vaccination to personnel who provide essential services, including security agencies responsible for safeguarding borders and law and order (including ICA officers); those involved in the provision of utilities such as water, energy and telecommunications services; and workers who ensure the supply of essential food and household items. 

“As more vaccine stocks arrive, we will extend vaccination to essential personnel involved in other critical functions, such as postmen and delivery staff, as well as news reporters, and bank operation staff engaged in critical banking and financial systems operations,” an MOH release stated.  

The MOH has also said that going forward, vaccination will also be extended to those who have multiple touch points with members of the community, like those who work in hawker centres and markets, such as stallholders and stall assistants, as well as those who serve in the food delivery industry. Vaccination was earlier offered to groups who are at higher risk of exposure, such as active taxi and private hire car drivers who might convey individuals seeking medical care who turn out to be COVID-19 patients. 

“We will also begin vaccination for the educators and staff who come into prolonged contact with children and youth. We will start with those working in pre-schools, national schools, ITEs and polytechnics, and will progressively extend to those working in other education institutions,” MOH said. 

COVID-19 vaccination for migrant workers will start with 10,000 workers who have never been infected by COVID-19 and are living in the five largest dormitories with vaccination being conducted in-situ at these five dormitories.  

Vaccination will then be progressively made available to other migrant workers. 

“Workers who have completed vaccination can be subjected to a lower frequency of testing, with testing occurring every 28 days instead of the current 14-day cycle,” the MOH release stated. 

Additionally, to minimise transmission risks from workers who engage in the supply of essential goods to Singapore, MOH will offer vaccination later this month to selected cargo drivers and accompanying personnel who enter Singapore from Malaysia on a regular basis. 

Those who are eligible for vaccination will be notified via a personalised SMS from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and will be contacted subsequently for an appointment to undergo vaccination at designated sites in Singapore.