SINGAPORE — Singapore will begin using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at four new vaccination centres that are set to begin operations on Wednesday (17 March).
These centres will be located at Hong Kah North Community Club (CC), Marsiling CC, Punggol 21 CC and Radin Mas CC, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a media release on Tuesday.
"As more supplies of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrive, more vaccination centres will offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine," said MOH.
Another three new vaccination centres – located at Nanyang CC, Sengkang CC and Arena @ Our Tampines Hub – are also due to open on Wednesday. These will continue to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that was the first to be used in Singapore.
These new locations will join the 24 existing centres, along with the 20 polyclinics and Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), in offering vaccinations for members of the public. MOH said it expects a total of 40 vaccination centres to be in operation islandwide by mid-April.
The ministry also noted that each centre will only stock and administer one type of vaccine.
"Individuals must select the same vaccination centre for both their first and second appointments, when booking via the national appointment system. As the vaccination capacity of each vaccination centre is not the same, the waiting times for first dose vaccination will differ between the vaccination centres," said MOH.
Those unable to secure a vaccination slot at the centre of their choice are encouraged to check the availability of slots at other centres. MOH also noted that the vaccination centres have higher capacity than polyclinics.
Appointment slots for vaccinations are currently open for frontline and healthcare workers, as well as seniors aged 60 and above. MOH said that vaccinations will be made available to more segments of the population from April.
As of Monday, Singapore has administered over 792,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 549,000 people having received their first dose. Of this latter group, about 243,000 have also received their second dose, thus completing their vaccination schedule.
Since vaccinations for seniors commenced on 22 February, over 175,000 seniors have received their first dose, with about 230,000 seniors set to receive their first dose over the next few weeks.
Early vaccination appeals
MOH said that it would consider allowing Singapore citizens and permanent residents with "very exceptional circumstances" to receive their vaccination earlier.
These include those who have an urgent need to travel overseas to pursue formal education or vocational programmes, or those set to be based abroad for work that cannot be done remotely. Appeals from those who need to travel abroad to visit or care for a critically ill family member or to seek necessary medical treatment that cannot be obtained in Singapore, will also be considered.
"Individuals who plan to appeal for early vaccination should cater for the time needed to complete the full course of vaccination in Singapore in their plans," said MOH. The ministry added that they should aim to complete the registration form (https://vaccine.gov.sg/appeal) at least eight weeks in advance.
MOH said it is also working with hospitals to provide earlier vaccinations for patients with complex chronic medial conditions who would be more susceptible to severe complications if they were to be infected with COVID-19.
Vaccine injury financial aid scheme
The ministry said that the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 vaccination (VIFAP) will be open for applications on Wednesday.
The scheme provides financial aid to Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who suffer serious side-effects arising from their vaccination. It is aimed at giving peace of mind to those still deciding whether to take up the vaccination.
Those qualifying for the VIFAP will receive a one-time payout in the following amounts, depending on the severity of the side-effects suffered:
$2,000 for individuals who require inpatient hospitalisation and medical intervention, and subsequently recover
$10,000 for individuals who require admission to High Dependency or Intensive Care units, and subsequently recover
$225,000 for individuals who die or suffer permanent severe disability as a result of COVID-19 vaccination
"The VIFAP is not meant to reimburse medical costs. It provides an additional layer of financial support, on top of the existing government healthcare financing schemes for medical costs incurred, which include government subsidies, MediShield Life, MediSave and MediFund," said MOH.
More information on VIFAP can be found at www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vaccination/vifap
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