askST: What you need to know about Singapore's new Covid-19 vaccination strategy

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health on Friday said Singapore was transitioning to a new strategy for Covid-19 vaccinations, with a focus on being up to date, rather than based on the total number of shots received.

At the same time, the Government has lifted all remaining vaccination-differentiated measures, including removing the requirement for vaccination for events with more than 500 participants or dining in at eateries.

What does this mean for those who are thinking of whether to get a second booster? The Straits Times has the answers.

Q: How many doses of a Covid-19 vaccine am I now required to take?

Singapore now requires that people get two shots of an mRNA vaccine, with a booster dose administered at least five months after completing the primary series.

As part of the new approach, vaccination is based on being up to date, rather than on how many doses someone has had, similar to how influenza vaccinations are administered seasonally, MOH said on Friday.

Under this strategy, people will still have to get three doses of an mRNA vaccine for basic protection.

Also, those 50 and older – including those who have taken a second booster – should receive a booster shot between five months and a year from their last dose.

People will be considered up-to-date with their Covid-19 vaccinations if they have at least the minimum protection and their last vaccine dose was within the past year.

Q: What are bivalent vaccines and who should take them?

The Moderna bivalent vaccine approved by the Health Science Authority (HSA) in September targets the original Sars-CoV-2 strain of the virus as well as the Omicron BA.1 variant.

At the time, HSA said preliminary data suggested that the Moderna bivalent vaccine was also effective against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, and others such as the Delta and Gamma variants.

The Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination has recommended the use of the bivalent vaccine to replace the existing formulation.

This means the original Moderna Spikevax vaccine will be replaced with the bivalent version starting next Monday, and made available for people aged 18 and above.

People aged 50 or older, as well as those who have yet to get basic protection against Covid-19, should have the bivalent vaccines, MOH said.

Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine is still under evaluation, but is expected to be available in Singapore by the end of the year.


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