Covid-19 hospitalisations up to 280 over past week, seniors urged to get another vaccine shot


A mobile Covid-19 vaccination facility set up at the amphitheatre at Block 509 Bishan Street 11 on May 25. - ST

SINGAPORE: The number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 increased to about 280 over the past week, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, as he reiterated his call for the vulnerable to get an additional shot of the vaccine.

To make it more convenient for vulnerable seniors to get their vaccinations, mobile Covid-19 vaccination teams will be deployed at selected heartland locations across the island from now until June 28.

The number of Covid-19 hospitalisations has been increasing in recent weeks, with around 250 such cases for the week of May 5 to May 11, up from 181 the week before that.

Speaking at the Kaki Bukit Health Fiesta on May 25, Ong urged residents, especially seniors, to protect themselves by wearing masks or getting an additional dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Get your vaccination about once a year, especially if you’re older,” he said at the event, held at the Kaki Bukit Community Centre.

This comes amid a wave of Covid-19 infections, driven by the KP.1 and KP.2 subvariants, which account for more than two-thirds of Covid-19 cases here.

As at May 3, the World Health Organization has classified KP.2 as a variant under monitoring.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) however has noted there is currently no indication, either globally or locally, that KP.1 and KP.2 are more transmissible or cause more severe disease than other circulating variants.

The ministry said on May 18 that the estimated number of Covid-19 cases for the week of May 5 to May 11 was 25,900 cases, almost double the 13,700 cases for the previous week.

Ong said then that the current wave was expected to peak by the end of June.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, MOH said about 5,700 people received a dose of the updated Covid-19 vaccine between May 20 and May 23, about half of whom were aged 60 years and above.

“While this is over 3.5 times the number of people who received a dose of the updated Covid-19 vaccine in the period from May 13 to 16, 2024, most vulnerable Singaporeans are no longer up to date for their Covid-19 vaccinations,” said an MOH spokesman.

“With each new wave, there is a higher risk of them falling severely ill if infected,” he added.

To get more people to vaccinate, mobile Covid-19 vaccination teams will be roving from place to place to a total of 13 sites, each for three days, over a period from May 24 to June 28.

These sites include Residents’ Networks and pavilions in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok and Bukit Merah, which have large populations of seniors.

According to the MOH’s website, all sites will offer both the updated versions of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

MOH had previously said those enrolled under preventive health initiative Healthier SG can receive their Covid-19 shots at some 250 participating clinics islandwide, with this number expected to be progressively expanded over the coming months.

Additionally, the five Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres – located in areas such as Jurong East, Sengkang and Woodlands – will extend their hours on Saturdays and the eve of public holidays until June 29, operating from 9am to 7pm, instead of from 9am to 1pm. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , covid-19 , cases

   

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