COVID-19 vaccination of senior citizens has commenced, with the vaccination in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar polyclinics begun administering inoculations on Wednesday (27 Jan) in a pilot exercise.
Taking to Facebook earlier today, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – who is one of the Members of Parliament (MPs) for Ang Mo Kio GRC – said that these two estates have older residents compared to other estates on the island.
Noting that he was pleased to see a “good turnout” today when he visited the Ang Mo Kio polyclinic, which is one of the vaccination locations in the area, Mr Lee added that the vaccination programme will be rolled out to other estates from mid-February onwards.
“The People’s Association volunteers and our Silver Generation Office will be making house visits to provide support to our seniors,” he said, as he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
All 24 HDB towns will have one vaccination centre by the end of March
Earlier on Tuesday (26 Jan), Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that each of the 24 Housing Development Board (HDB) towns will have one vaccination centre by the end of March to enable the administration of 2,000 doses of vaccines a day as part of the country’s nationwide vaccination drive. Phase one of this is the vaccination of seniors.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to the vaccination centre at Tanjong Pagar Community Club (CC), Mr Chan was quoted by The Straits Times as saying: “Our aim is that by the end of March, we will have one community vaccination centre in each town… and if we need to scale it up faster because the vaccines come in faster, we will make sure we have the vaccination capacity.”
“Our aim is to build the vaccination capacity ahead of the arrival of the vaccines, so that the vaccination capacity will not be the constraint or the bottleneck,” he added.
Mr Chan said that the take-up rate for vaccination has been “quite encouraging” in his constituency of Tanjong Pagar, with about 300 bookings already made by elderly residents at the Tanjong Pagar CC in just the first two days.
“As people become more confident of the process, I think the take-up rate will progressively go up… so we have to keep monitoring this and then make fine adjustments to the capacity at the respective vaccination centres,” he noted.
Under the current pilot programme to vaccinate senior, around 5,000 to 10,000 residents aged 70 and above in each town of Ang Mo Lio and Tanjong Pagar will eventually receive invitations to set up appointments for their inoculations, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong last week.