Mr Lim Biow Chuan
MP for Mountbatten
Question No. 1587
To ask the Minister for Health whether the introduction of the $30.00 HPB voucher as an incentive to those who successfully refer a senior aged 60 and older to get vaccinated discriminates against those who had persuaded their senior parents to get vaccinated earlier.
1 Vaccination protects seniors from a higher risk of severe symptoms if infected with COVID-19. The Ministry of Health has therefore pursued several initiatives to support seniors in getting vaccinated. For example, we have deployed mobile and home vaccination teams, many manned by volunteers.
2 During the initial stages of our vaccination programme, many seniors came forward to get vaccinated. However, as we attained higher vaccination rates, seniors who remain unvaccinated would require further persuasion and assurance. The Health Promotion Board’s “Let’s Get Our Seniors Vaccinated” programme was launched to further support our national vaccination efforts.
3 Under the programme, a $30 voucher is given to each referrer to cover the costs involved in supporting seniors throughout the vaccination process, such as accompanying seniors to the vaccination centre. This is a token amount that acknowledges the additional effort needed to encourage seniors who may be vaccine hesitant and require deeper engagement to address their concerns.
4 In the first two weeks of launching the programme on 13 August 2021, about 550 seniors were successfully referred for their first dose of vaccination. This is an encouraging outcome and we hope that more seniors will come forward for their vaccination with the support from referrers.
5 We thank the many people who have stepped forward to help in our national vaccination programme in many different ways. With every extra person vaccinated all of us are better protected.