Those who test positive for Covid-19 using ART should get booster vaccine dose: MOH, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Those who test positive for Covid-19 using ART should get booster vaccine dose: MOH

Individuals who have tested positive for Covdi-19 via a self-administered antigen rapid test (ART) should get a booster vaccine dose to confer longer protection against the disease, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Jan 29).

MOH clarified that those who were infected with Covid-19 should still receive a booster dose, adding that the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination has found that it is safe for people to do so.

"Our vaccination centres have been instructed to administer the booster dose to you and you will not be turned away," it added.

However, those who have tested positive for Covid-19 and prefer not to get a dose or have seen a doctor when they were infected, or were found Covid-19- positive when entering Singapore from abroad can choose not to take the booster dose if their infection is noted in their medical records (HealthHub).

"The infection episode can be considered as your booster dose. The update of your status is automatic, and no action is required on your part," it added.

Those who were found to have been Covid-19 positive, but had done only an ART self-test, or had undergone rostered routine testing or pre-event testing will not have their infection status noted in their medical records.

"These individuals will typically undergo self-isolation, recover and then resume normal activities. There is therefore no record of their infection in our medical records," said MOH.

"If so, you will need to receive your booster dose, recommended from about five months after the last dose of your primary series, in order to extend the validity period of your full vaccination status beyond the initial 270 days."

From Feb 14, those who are 18 years and older and have had two doses of the mRNA vaccine or three doses of the Sinovac/Sinopharm vaccine will lose their "fully vaccinated" status after 270 days.

"As the deadline draws near, MOH would like to remind the public to get their booster doses on time, that is, recommended from about five months after the last dose of your primary vaccination series," it added.

"Upon receiving your booster dose, you will continue to be considered fully vaccinated beyond the initial 270 days. There is no expiry for the period of validity following the booster at this point."

In response to questions on the need for boosters after various permutations of mRNA vaccine doses, Sinovac/Sinopharm doses and infections, MOH said it is working on a calculator to help individuals determine if they need to take boosters to extend the validity period of their "fully vaccinated" status.

The calculator will be available on its official website.

"But a simple rule of thumb is: Two doses of an mRNA vaccine or three doses of Sinovac/Sinopharm confer full vaccination status for 270 days. A booster or an infection recorded in our medical records after that will extend the validity," it added.

The ministry also advised individuals against taking serology tests "to try to exempt themselves" from a booster dose.

"A serology test is not a strong indication of resilience against severe illness caused by the Covid-19 virus. Further, positive serology can be generated due to vaccinations or infections, without clear indication of timing, and does not provide a good basis to decide if the individual can be exempted from boosters," it said.

"When in doubt, please come forward to receive a booster dose and get yourself properly protected."