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Singapore – Senior citizens getting the Covid-19 vaccine are saying they took the right decision, dismissing talk of possible side effects.

After the successful pilots in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar, the Government officially began vaccinating seniors aged 70 or more islandwide on Feb 22.

Invitations to get vaccinated were sent by mail and people could also book appointments online.

Retiree Balan Krishnan, 75, had full confidence when he received his first dose on Feb 3 at the Teck Ghee Community Club despite hearing rumours of the  vaccine having side effects. “The minute I walked in, I was taken to the injection area. It was quite fast and took about five minutes,” he told straitstimes.com.

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“Afterwards, I rested in the holding area for half an hour to make sure there were no side effects,” added Mr Balan.

About 250,000 individuals have received the first dose of the vaccine as of Feb 18 while around 110,000 have got the second dose, thus completing the vaccination process. About 5,000 seniors from the pilot sessions had been vaccinated as of Feb 18, the report noted.

“I tell others that it’s best to get the vaccine; there’s nothing to be afraid of, nothing will happen to you,” said 73-year-old Ang Mo Kio resident Ang Beng Giap to the Sunday Times. “I even joked with the staff that I wanted to stay under observation longer; it was so fast,” he joked after noting the whole process of getting his second jab on Feb 17 only took an hour.

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“I heard that some might get a fever after receiving the vaccine, so I drank more water and stayed at home. Nothing happened to me,” added Mr Ang.

A Ministry of Health (MOH) press release on Feb 19 announced that seniors would be able to schedule their vaccinations at any of the designated vaccination centres, 20 polyclinics and 22 Public Health Preparedness Clinics currently functioning as vaccination sites.

There will be at least one vaccination centre in each town, with a total of 31 in operation, by mid-March.

All vaccination sites have medical protocols in place to ensure the patient’s safety as well as to provide guidance on the vaccination process.

Furthermore, vaccination providers have undergone training to familiarise themselves with the process, including protocols and guidelines, before beginning operations. The MOH also conducts periodic audits to ensure safety standards are upheld.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Feb 10 that the entire eligible population is expected to be vaccinated by the end of the year should vaccine supplies arrive as scheduled./TISG

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