SINGAPORE – COVID-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11 years begins Monday (December 27) as Singapore expands its national immunization program to over 300,000 children.
This age group is by far the largest unvaccinated group in the city-state. The program is open to all children who are Singaporean, permanent residents and long-term passport holders.
The exercise starts with children from 4th to 6th primary school, announced the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Agency for Early Childhood Development (ECDA) in a joint media release on Tuesday. From Wednesday onwards, SMS invitations with clear links for booking appointments will be sent.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine approved in Singapore for children ages 5-11. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the first delivery of the vaccine arrives on wednesday.
“The phase 3 clinical trial of the vaccine showed that the vaccine is safe and effective for children in this age group. The Committee of Experts on COVID-19 Vaccination found that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks, ”said MOE and ECDA in the press release.
367 children under the age of 12 infected
In a video released Tuesday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing stressed that while our children’s risk of infection can never be completely prevented, vaccination reduces their chances of developing serious infection.
“Many parents were concerned about the disruption to schools due to the pandemic. As more of our children are vaccinated, we will be able to resume more activities, sports and games that are critical to their holistic development and wellbeing. ” -His, ”said Chan.
In September, Senior Health Minister Janil Puthucheary informed Parliament that about 367 children under the age of 12 or 0.6 percent of all local cases have become infected with COVID-19 until now. He added that none of them have developed serious illnesses that require oxygen supplementation or are in intensive care.
There were also four cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) with children up to now, whereby a four-year-old boy will be stationed at the children’s intensive care unit (CICU) from Saturday (November 6th).
Last Tuesday, the multi-ministerial task force on COVID-19 announced that there are currently no plans to impose differentiated immunization measures on children ages 5-11.
MOE has not set a target for the number of children to be vaccinated in this age group as the exercise is not compulsory. The core curriculum for unvaccinated people in this age group is not affected, but they can be excluded from higher risk activities.
15 designated pediatric vaccination centers
To make it easier for younger children to be vaccinated, 15 designated pediatric vaccination centers (VCs) located across the island will gradually start operating. Seven such VCs, manned by medical staff trained in pediatrics, will start operations on Monday, followed by seven more centers on January 3rd.
These are located in existing VCs for adults and older children, and there will be separate queues and rooms to ensure safe management measures are followed and the vaccine is administered correctly.
An additional pediatric VC will open on January 11th on the new campus of Yusof Ishak Secondary School to better cover the Punggol / Seng Kang region. The vaccination facility will be separated from the rest of the school so that teaching and program will not be affected.
Parental consent is required to book a vaccination appointment
Parental consent is required to book a vaccination appointment for both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech / Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine. All children between the ages of 5 and 11 must be accompanied to their appointment by a parent / legal guardian in the VC.
Parents should bring their child / ward’s ID with them for verification. Those who have expressed their interest in the NAS must also sign a consent form and bring a copy with them for review.
In order to ensure compliance with safe management measures in the VCs, only one parent is allowed to accompany their child / ward into the VC.
Registration will open gradually, starting with children born between 2009 and 2012
The registration process for the vaccination will gradually open to all eligible children by age group, starting with children born between 2009 and 2012, followed by children born between 2013 and 2017.
Children must be past their fifth birthday before they can book an appointment.
From Monday it is National Appointment System (NAS.)) Parents of all children between the ages of nine and 11 can register their interest in having their child vaccinated. After registering, you will receive a clear link via SMS within three to five working days to book a vaccination appointment.
From the week of January 3, the parents of primary levels 1 to 3 of the MOE primary schools will also receive texts for booking a vaccination appointment. Parents of all children aged five and over can also register their interest in the NAS from the week of January 10th and receive their unique link.
Vaccination of children in SPED schools, EIPIC centers
To facilitate access for children in special schools (SPED) and ECDA-funded early intervention programs for infants and children (EIPIC), MOH will send mobile vaccination teams to schools for all eligible SPED and EIPIC students from January 12th.
Parents / legal guardians can either choose to have their child vaccinated through these teams or register their interest in the NAS so that their child can receive the vaccination at a pediatric VC.
Parents / legal guardians of children with special and developmental needs who do not attend SPED schools or EIPIC centers, e.g. B. those who are taught at private ECI centers or at home can show their interest in the NAS if the respective age groups of their children are eligible for registration.
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