Singapore to begin giving Covid-19 vaccines to children under 5


Singapore will soon roll out Covid-19 vaccinations for children below five and plans to introduce bivalent jabs targeting both the wildtype virus and its circulating variants, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday.

But the government has no plans to include the Covid-19 jab as part of the country’s National Childhood Immunisation Schedule, which includes vaccinations for diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B, Ong told lawmakers in parliament.

Of the 12 vaccinations listed in the schedule, shots for measles and diphtheria are mandatory.

Hong Kong last week effectively extended its vaccine mandate to include young children, with those in the five to 11 age bracket set to be banned from restaurants and other business establishments if they do not have at least one jab by September 30.

On infant vaccinations, Ong said the republic currently had supplies of the two-dose Moderna shot approved for use on those aged six months to five years old.

Nonetheless, given Singapore’s “relatively low” caseload, the roll-out would be timed for end-October or early November.

It would begin concurrently with the booster programme offered to children aged five to 11.

“As we open up vaccinations to all these children … we want to continue to disclose as much information and medical information as we can,” Ong said.

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