SINGAPORE – From 14 February, the official validity period for persons aged 18 years and above to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be 270 days after the last dose of the primary vaccination series.
In a press release on Wednesday (5 January), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that these individuals should take their booster vaccination from around five months after completing the primary vaccination series and no later than 270 days thereafter.
"Upon receiving their booster, they will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated beyond the 270 days," the MOH said.
This measure was taken after taking into account the recommendation of the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V).
International data has shown that protection against Omicron variant from a primary vaccination series is weaker compared to that against the Delta variant, while boosters increase the protection against infection and severe illness from Omicron.
On Monday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore has to prepare itself for an “imminent” Omicron wave, with the COVID variant accounting for 17 per cent of local cases at the time.
Novavax vaccine expected to be available
The new guidelines also apply to those who received recognised non-mRNA primary vaccination regimens offered under the National Vaccination Programme, such as three doses of the SinovacCoronaVac, or three doses of Sinopharm vaccines, as well as regimens of other WHO EUL vaccines.
"For this group, most will not be due for booster for some time. We expect the Novavax vaccine, which is a non-mRNA vaccine, to be available to them as an option by then," the ministry added.
As an example, if an individual completed his primary vaccination series on 1 June 2021, he would be eligible for a booster vaccination five months later – from 1 November 2021, and would have to receive his booster by 26 February 2022 to continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.
For vaccinated persons who have recovered from COVID-19, no additional booster dose is required currently.
"However, recovered persons who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated before their infection should receive one dose of the mRNA vaccine (two doses if they are taking Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine) at least three months after infection to be considered as fully vaccinated," the MOH said.
The 270-day vaccination validity period does not apply to recovered persons who complete this vaccination requirement.
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