S’pore Confirms COVID-19 Vaccination Plan; Here’s What You Should Know


When the first batch of COVID-19 arrived in Singapore last week, we became experts and started to tell our friends how Singapore should be vaccinated.

But even before the vaccines were approved, Singapore has set up an Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination that’ll suggest how we should vaccinate the population.

Today, it was announced that the committee had submitted its recommendation on 24 December 2020 and the Government has accepted them in full this afternoon.

Here’s what you need to know.

S’pore Confirms COVID-19 Vaccination Plan; Here’s What You Should Know

For a start, this is just for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines, and vaccination for this will start from 30 December 2020.

Image: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

So expect to see lots of needles on TV next Wednesday.

Singapore received the first shipment of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech on 21 December 2020, and subsequent COVID-19 vaccine stocks are expected to arrive in Singapore in batches over several months.

Vaccination will therefore take place in a progressive manner, with priority given to the following groups, as recommended by the Expert Committee:

Persons at high risk of being infected by COVID-19, including healthcare workers and workers at the frontline of our national COVID-19 response

This is because there is a duty to protect these workers who place themselves at higher risk of infection in the course of serving our population, so as to ensure the continued effective functioning of our healthcare system, and our national systems for preventing and containing disease spread.

MOH will begin the vaccination exercise with healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 30 December 2020, and subsequently roll out to more healthcare institutions in the subsequent weeks.

Public healthcare institutions – including acute hospitals, community hospitals and polyclinics – as well as private hospitals, will progressively arrange for their staff to be vaccinated within their respective premises.

Persons who are most vulnerable to severe disease and complications if they fall ill with COVID-19, including the elderly and persons with medical comorbidities

Singapore will start with vaccinating those 70 years old and above as they have more medical co-morbidities, and tend to have worse health outcomes than those aged 60 to 69 years old if infected with COVID-19. Protecting such persons minimises COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity, and ensures that our healthcare system will continue to have the capacity to care for the overall health of all Singaporeans.

This will begin from February 2021. Thereafter MOH will vaccinate other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible for vaccination.

More details will be shared in due course.

Encourage Other People to be Vaccinated

The Committee has assessed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is suitable for use in persons aged 16 years old and older in Singapore for the prevention of COVID-19.

While the general population might have to wait a few months before vaccination is available to us, MOH also encourages everyone who is medically eligible for vaccination to get vaccinated when the vaccine is offered.


MOH said that while “the current number of cases in the community remains low, the risk for further importation of COVID-19 and community spread will increase as we move into Phase Three and given the global COVID-19 situation. This is especially important in the face of reports surfacing globally about more transmissible strains.”

Expert Committee chairperson A/Prof Benjamin Ong said, “While Singapore currently has a low rate of local transmission of COVID-19, we remain vulnerable to the threat of a surge in cases. As such, it is important that we achieve as comprehensive a coverage of COVID-19 vaccination as possible across the entire population.

“We strongly encourage all persons who are medically eligible to be vaccinated when the vaccine is made available to them. In the meantime, we recommend to first vaccinate groups who are at greater risk of exposure, such as healthcare workers and COVID-19 frontline workers, and vulnerable groups at greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection, such as the elderly and those with co-morbidities.”

Not a Silver Bullet

Despite this, MOH highlighted that vaccination is not a silver bullet that can end the pandemic immediately, but it is a key enabler to getting us back to a safer state of affairs.

It will complement other existing key enablers – safe management measures, testing and contact tracing – which will continue to be necessary in helping us to mitigate any spread and keep community transmission low.


You can watch this video to understand how a simple measure, such as mask-wearing, can keep the virus at bay (and also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative videos, please!):

Featured Image: kandl stock / Shutterstock.com