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COVID-19 vaccination rates and COVID-19 risk index

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song
MP for Aljunied GRC

Question No. 785

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the threshold for COVID-19 vaccination rates before a near-full reopening is possible; (b) what is the basis of this threshold; and (c) what consideration has the Government given towards the development of a COVID-19 risk index that aggregates indicators like the number of new infections and active cases, hospital capacity, vaccination rate, contact tracing efficiency and testing capacity, to provide guidance to policymakers on decisions to ease or tighten safe management measures.

Written Answer

Vaccination is a critical factor in determining the pace of our transition to living normally with COVID-19. As no vaccine provides 100% immune protection, and we continue to encounter more transmissible variants, there will continue to be uncertainties and surprises.  It will therefore not be wise to define a definitive threshold for a full re-opening.

It will also not be very useful to devise an index to guide our public health actions, because each aspect of the effort against COVID-19 is important, and deserves dedicated attention.

However, the more we get ourselves vaccinated, the better protected we are and the more we can achieve normalcy.  We have set ourselves milestone targets, namely, getting half of population fully vaccinated by the second half of July, and two-thirds around National Day.  We should aim for even higher vaccination rates beyond that, especially for our seniors.  Our roadmap for restoring activities and travel will have to be planned around those milestones.

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