The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has accepted the recommendation by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) to use the paediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. Vaccination for this group will commence before the end of this year, and once we receive deliveries of the vaccine doses.
1 From 14 December 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will also extend the vaccination booster programme to individuals aged 18 to 29 years.
HSA Approval of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty Vaccine for Children Aged 5 to 11 Years
2 On 10 December 2021, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) approved the use of the paediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. This will be the first COVID-19 vaccine HSA has granted approval for use in Singapore for this age group.
3 The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) has also recommended its use for this age group. The EC19V has assessed that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine outweigh the risks when used in a paediatric dosage for children aged 5 to 11 years, especially given ongoing community transmission and the emergence of the Omicron variant. The EC19V recommends that children with moderate to severe chronic medical conditions should be prioritised for access to the vaccine.
4 The recommended dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years is one third of that used in persons aged 12 and above, i.e. two paediatric doses (10 micrograms each) that is spaced at least 21 days apart.
5 MOH has signed a new supply agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech for the COVID-19 vaccine and we expect the shipment to arrive before the end of December. MOH will work with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to roll out vaccinations for this school-going age group. We plan to start vaccinations before the end of this year. Further details will be announced by MOE and ECDA shortly.
Extending Booster Vaccination to Individuals Aged 18 to 29
6 While the primary series vaccinations provide excellent protection against severe disease, there is evidence of waning protection against infection over time, albeit at a slower pace in younger persons. Hence, the EC19V has assessed that booster vaccination is beneficial for protection against COVID-19 for persons aged 18 to 29 years. From 14 December 2021, we will extend the vaccination booster programme to individuals aged 18 to 29 years. All eligible persons will be able to receive their booster doses of the mRNA vaccine five months after completing their primary vaccination series.
7 Eligible individuals will be invited to make an appointment for their booster dose. An SMS with a personalised booking link will be sent to their registered mobile number to book an appointment on www.vaccine.gov.sg. They may receive their booster dose at any Vaccination Centre or participating Public Health Preparedness Clinic.
Collective Effort Towards COVID-19 Resiliency
8 To date, 96% of eligible population and 87% of total population have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. 30% of total population have received their booster shots.
9 While this is encouraging, we need more people to be vaccinated and boosted, especially given the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is likely to established itself all over the world in the coming couple of months. Vaccinations and boosters are the best protection against an unknown and highly transmissible COVID-19 variant.
10 MOH therefore encourages everyone who is eligible for boosters to take them as soon as possible, and not to wait. The two mRNA vaccines can be used interchangeably as boosters. For those who are eligible to take boosters but have not received their SMS invitations, they are also invited to walk in to any Moderna Vaccination Centre to receive their booster vaccination without a need to book an appointment.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
10 DECEMBER 2021