More than 6,200 people vaccinated against COVID-19 as government ramps up vaccination program: Gan Kim Yong

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SINGAPORE: Singapore has vaccinated more than 6,200 people against COVID-19 and will continue to increase the scope and pace of the country’s vaccination program, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (January 13th) after receiving his first dose of Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine.

“Especially in the last few days we have increased the capacity, and yesterday we vaccinated 2,800 (people),” added Mr. Gan, who is co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministerial working group.

Mr. Gan addressed guest media at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, along with his co-chair, Mr. Lawrence Wong, who also received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both described the injection as painless and waited 30 minutes afterwards to observe the side effects before speaking to reporters.

“We plan to continue to expand the scope of vaccination and increase the pace of vaccination, eventually to cover the entire population of Singapore,” said Mr. Gan.

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To do this, in addition to the operation of polyclinics and some general practitioner clinics, four vaccination centers will be created by the end of January to allow the vaccination of a large number of the population, said Mr. Gan. .

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Two of the centers have been operational since Wednesday, one at Terminal 4 at Changi Airport and the other at Raffles City Convention Center, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release.

The other two vaccination centers, located in the former Hong Kah High School and the Woodlands Galaxy Community Center, will be ready for operation next week, the ministry added.

Singapore is also on track to have four more vaccination centers by the end of February, the ministry said.

“Other centers across the island are being planned and will be set up alongside the arrival of vaccine shipments,” the health ministry said.

“These centers, along with polyclinics and some public health preparation clinics (PHPC), will ensure that every Singaporean and long-term resident in Singapore who is medically eligible can receive their vaccines easily.”

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In a Facebook post, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the vaccination center at Changi Airport Terminal 4 will serve air crew members and frontline workers at the airport, while the other site of the Raffles City Convention Center will accommodate marine pilots, crew and frontline workers who must board ships.

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“This week will be an operational warm-up, where we will vaccinate small groups, to prepare for large-scale operations next week,” Ong said.

VACCINATIONS FOR HEALTH CARE, FRONT-LINE WORKERS

The government is making arrangements for all Singaporeans and longtime residents to be able to get vaccinated by the third quarter of 2021, barring “unforeseen disruptions to vaccine shipments,” the health ministry said in its statement. Press.

READ: 1,050 frontline health workers from local team to receive COVID-19 vaccine in coming weeks

In line with the recommendations of the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination, Singapore began vaccinating healthcare workers on December 30.

The immunization program “is progressing well,” Gan said at the event, with more than 6,200 people vaccinated to date.

These numbers are expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks as the government continues to scale up vaccination operations, the health ministry said in the press release.

On Tuesday, 2,800 people were vaccinated, including 2,500 health workers.

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Vaccines have been offered to health workers and staff at all public and private health facilities, and are being rolled out for people working in the community care sector, the ministry said.

In addition to frontline workers at border entry points, Singapore has also started to vaccinate those involved in the COVID-19 response, such as swabs and workers in quarantine and community care facilities, added the ministry.

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VACCINATIONS FOR THE ELDERLY

The Department of Health also announced that vaccinations for the elderly will begin later this month. The ministry will gradually send letters to the elderly inviting them to make an appointment for their vaccination.

Residents and clients in the community care sector will also be gradually vaccinated, the ministry said.

“Nursing homes have started to involve their residents and their next of kin in vaccinations. We will work with community care providers to encourage all medically eligible residents and clients to get vaccinated, ”the Department of Health said.

READ: Ren Ci Nursing Home Staff Get COVID-19 Vaccines, Among First In Community Care Sector

Lawrence Wong receives his COVID-19 vaccine at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital on January 13, 2021 (Photo: MCI)

The government will step up its outreach and engagement efforts with older people with the help of volunteers, said Wong, who is also education minister.

This will be done by inviting them to the nearest polyclinic, PHPC or vaccination center via a reservation system, Wong added. With the help of volunteers, older people will have access to information in different languages, he said.

“So this will be done in timed stages with the arrival of our vaccine shipments. But we expect a significant increase from now on, ”Mr. Wong said.

“ VERY IMPORTANT ” VACCINATIONS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

Mr Gan urged everyone to get vaccinated, saying vaccinations play a “very important role” in Singapore’s fight against COVID-19 by providing protection against the virus at an individual and collective level.

“It will also collectively provide protection to the whole population if we can achieve a high level of vaccination in the population,” said Mr. Gan.

“This in turn will allow us to recover more quickly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow our economy to recover more quickly, it will also allow us to resume our community activities more quickly.

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