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Singapore to review time frame on validity of fully vaccinated persons against COVID-19

A newspaper reader, in a letter to The Straits Times on Wednesday, had combed through the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations 2021.

Published: 12th November 2021 04:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th November 2021 04:25 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

SINGAPORE: Singapore's health ministry said on Friday that the regulators will review a time frame on validity of fully vaccinated persons on COVID-19 which is according to the regulations of 365 plus 14 days after the second dose.

While enacting COVID-19 regulations earlier this year, regulators indicated an interim time frame of 365 days for a person's "fully vaccinated" status to remain valid so that vaccination-differentiated safety measures could be implemented, the ministry said.

"As more data becomes available, including on the increase in protection provided by booster doses, the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination will study the evidence and make its recommendations to MOH," the Channel News Asia quoted the Ministry of Health (MOH) as saying.

Local media reports have highlighted that law the states that a person's fully vaccinated status expires 365 plus 14 days after the second dose.

A newspaper reader, in a letter to The Straits Times on Wednesday, had combed through the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations 2021. A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose.

The reader has asked whether this meant that the government intends for all Singapore residents to take booster shots to be considered fully vaccinated after a year, and that when the efficacy of the booster jab diminishes, residents would have to take an additional booster to maintain their fully vaccinated status.

Another question was that when the efficacy of the booster vaccine diminishes, would residents have to take another booster to maintain their fully vaccinated status.

In its response, the ministry said it regularly reviews the evidence from studies in Singapore and abroad on the protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccines.

"As these studies are ongoing, when enacting the regulations earlier, we had in the interim specified a duration of 365 days to allow persons who have completed the primary series of their vaccinations to be exempted from vaccination-differentiated safe management measures," TODAY newspaper quoted the ministry as saying.

Exemption from these measures mean that fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to dine in at food and beverage establishments and enter malls and large standalone stores, while those who are unvaccinated cannot.

As more data becomes available, including on the increase in protection provided by booster doses, the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) will study the evidence and make its recommendations and the Ministry will review the stipulated time frame.

Both (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines and non-mRna vaccines approved here are subject to the interim 365-day validity date under the law. The ministry said that while two doses of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines provide excellent protection against severe disease, there will be "waning protection against infection."

"Hence MOH (the Ministry of Health) recommends all eligible vaccinated persons to receive their booster doses to improve their protection against COVID-19 infection and reduce transmission," the ministry said.

In Singapore, the COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out in late December last year, with healthcare workers being the first to receive them.

They were then progressively given to more frontline workers and then to the elderly in January this year, before being offered to other groups.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said 169 inmates across all prison facilities were COVID-19 positive as of November 10.

Indian-origin Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who is facing execution, was granted a stay of his execution by a three-judge Court of Appeal after he tested positive for CCOVID-19. Also, five lions have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Singapore zoo.



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