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Vaccination processes streamlined and guidelines regularly updated

We thank Mr Zhang Wei Chang and Mr Liang Wen Le for their letters (对接种疫苗的建议; 伤脑筋的冠病疫苗接种, 16 Mar).  

Eligible individuals, upon registering online, will receive a SMS notification with a unique link to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. As the link is unique to the individual, each link can only be used by the individual. Family members in the same household who wish to make appointments at the same vaccination site at a common timing may do so by booking their appointments online individually using their respective unique links, or by calling the Ministry of Health (MOH) COVID-19 hotline at 1800-333-9999 to make concurrent bookings, subject to the availability of appointment slots. We have been receiving many bookings for vaccination and we seek the public’s understanding that we may not always be able to arrange upon request for a couple to be vaccinated within the same time window, but we strive to accommodate as best as we can.

Individuals receiving vaccinations are required to verify details such as their personal information and medical history before receiving the vaccination, to ensure that the vaccine is administered to the correct individual, and to those who are medically eligible. In the earlier phase of the vaccination programme, medical providers took a more cautious approach and verification happened at 4 junctures – (1) verifying against National Appointment System, (2) at registration, (3) right before vaccination, and (4) after 30 minutes of observation. This process has since been streamlined to twice: once at the registration and the second time before the individual is vaccinated.

Members of the public can refer to a list of the medical considerations on who should not be vaccinated when they are registering for an appointment on the website. Medical conditions for which COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended include history of anaphylaxis, transplant within the past three months (solid organ or stem cell), and ongoing cancer chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy. Persons with allergies may receive the COVID-19 vaccines, unless they have a history of any life-threatening allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. In addition, those who experience an allergic reaction after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will not be given the scheduled second dose.

MOH regularly updates vaccination providers on the latest guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination, including guidance on allergies with which people should not get vaccinated. Medical personnel are deployed at all vaccination sites to assess individuals on their medical eligibility before proceeding with vaccination. Individuals may also choose to consult their treating physicians for medical advice if they have questions relating to underlying chronic medical conditions. We have recently updated our guidelines and Mr Liang may wish to consult his family doctor on his medical conditions.

We will continue to work with our vaccination providers and partners to ensure the best care and service for those receiving the vaccination.

Dinesh Vasu Dash
Group Director, Crisis Strategy and Operations Group
Ministry of Health 

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