No vaccines for those who wish to go abroad due to limited supplies
Vaccines will not currently be provided to Singaporeans who wish to travel overseas for personal reasons, owing to limited supplies and the need to prioritise their use, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament yesterday.
As vaccine supplies are currently limited, healthcare and front-line workers, as well as seniors, have to be prioritised, he said. "When there is greater certainty in our vaccine supply, we will consider allowing these individuals to receive early vaccination. We will announce further details at that time."
More details on the vaccination roll-out to the rest of the population will also be announced at a later date.
Healthcare and front-line workers prioritised include swabbers hired by the Health Promotion Board, and staff working at government quarantine facilities, community care and stay-home notice facilities, he said. Essential workers, such as those in security services, aviation and the maritime sector, have also been vaccinated.
Advance purchase agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinovac have been signed, and discussions are ongoing with a few other pharmaceutical companies, Dr Janil said.
Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC) and Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang) pressed Dr Janil on whether early vaccination can be considered for Singaporeans who want to go overseas for various reasons, such as for studies, or on compassionate grounds. Dr Janil replied that a national appointment booking system has been set up, and members of the public will be asked to register their interest at the appropriate time.
Mr Sharael Taha (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) asked if the Health Ministry can issue an advisory on vaccines for students studying overseas.
Dr Janil said information will be made available through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its overseas missions on how these students can receive help.
Six nursing homes started vaccinating their residents late last month.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Ministry of Health said registered medical practitioners may make the assessment on whether to vaccinate individuals who are incapable of making decisions on their own, and have no known next of kin or deputies.
This is in accordance with Singapore Medical Council's Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines, and practitioners should act in the best interests of the individual.
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