As the pandemic continues, vaccines are being rolled out worldwide, including here in Singapore. While COVID-19 vaccinations in Singapore are not compulsory, if you are considering them, the team at UEX has some answers to a few common questions about them.
#1 When did vaccines start arriving in Singapore?
Shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech started arriving at the end of 2020, and Moderna in February this year. More of these approved vaccines will be sent in batches each month. Singapore is also looking for more vaccine options to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination programme carries on smoothly. Vaccinations for those who are eligible are expected to be completed by September.
#2 When can I get vaccinated?
Healthcare workers were given priority, with the first batch of staff from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases being vaccinated late last year. COVID-19 vaccinations have also begun for groups of people who are at a higher risk of being affected and having complications. These include aviation, maritime, construction and transport staff as well as the elderly. The rest of the population will be lined up from there.
#3 Can I choose the vaccine I want?
No, you will not be given a choice. It will be based on a variety of factors, including availability and your medical history.
#4 What is the COVID-19 vaccination process like?
Vaccinations are being progressively opened to the general population from April. You’ll need to wait for an official invitation letter or link so you can book your appointments.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has two doses, which should be given 21 days apart. As for the Moderna vaccine, it also has two doses but they need to be taken 28 days apart. You’ll need to have both doses before you get full vaccine protection. It will be injected on the upper arm so wear clothes with short sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled up.
For the latest details, visit the MOH COVID-19 vaccination website.
#5 Is the vaccine free?
Yes, it’s free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and other long-term residents in Singapore. These include Employment Pass holders, S-Pass holders, Work Permit holders, Foreign Domestic Workers, Dependant’s Pass holders, Long-Term Visit Pass holders and Student Pass holders.
#6 Who cannot take the vaccine?
- People with severe allergies
- Pregnant women
- Children under 16 years
- Immunocompromised persons (such as people with cancer)
#7 What happens if the virus evolves?
Studies are being done on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines to see if they also protect against new strains. The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) in Singapore are constantly reviewing the situation.
#8 Are there any side effects?
Like most other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccinations may cause some side effects. Most of them are mild to moderate ones, including muscle pain, swelling at the injection site, lethargy and fever. If your symptoms persist or worsen, see a doctor.
To treat severe allergic reactions immediately (such as anaphylaxis), everyone will be placed under observation for 30 minutes after the injection. The government has also introduced financial support for those who get serious side effects.
Health insurance with UEX
Keeping yourself covered internationally is a good idea during a pandemic. UEX’s advisors are available to answer your questions about health insurance cover. Reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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