During an Instagram live session on Thu (8 Jul), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that those who are fully vaccinated most likely need booster shots and the government is looking into it. It was reported by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.
He added that booster shots for the Covid-19 vaccine may begin around Chinese New Year next year.
Ong said that since the vaccines are effective for between one and two years, the boosters may be needed to augment immunity and better fight against new variants that may emerge.
“The Chinese New Year in February next year will be about a year after the (national vaccination drive) was launched. That may be when people would start to take the booster shots,” he said.
US CDC and FDA say no need
However, on the same day, in a joint statement by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the 2 US federal authorities said that Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.
“The United States is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up,” the statement said.
“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta.”
The US authorities said that they are presently engaged in a “science-based, rigorous process” to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.
“This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data – which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely on those data exclusively,” the statement added.
That is to say, the US federal authorities don’t just rely on what the pharmaceutical companies said. They would do their own studies too.
“We continue to review any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed,” the US authorities concluded.
It’s not known how Ong came to the conclusion that Singaporeans likely need booster shots starting from Chinese New Year next year.