"We are looking at a target of 70% of the adult population receiving their booster shots but we are currently not even at 58%,” said the Health Minister.
He added at a press conference on Thursday (Feb 17) that his ministry feels that it is necessary to double up efforts to get those who haven't received their booster dose to do so.
“Now is not a question of capacity or supply but looking for those who haven't received their booster shots to do so," said Khairy.
He cited data from Covid-19 statistics obtained on Wednesday (Feb 16) which showed that 77.5% of Covid-19 patients under Categories 3, 4, and 5 cases were those who have yet to be fully vaccinated or received their booster shots.
He said data also showed that despite hitting a new record of new Covid-19 daily infections on Wednesday with 27,831 cases, the number of Categories 3, 4 and 5 cases was much lower compared to the previous record of 24,599 cases recorded on Aug 26 last year during the Delta wave.
"A total of 116 cases requiring ventilator assistance were recorded on Feb 16 compared to 934 cases on Aug 6 last year," he said, adding that patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and deaths were reduced between 80% and 90% compared to the same period last year.
Khairy said this showed that vaccinations and booster shots, though not a guarantee against infections, prevented serious Covid-19 cases.
He assured the ministry is taking steps to ensure that the nation's health care system is able to cope with the effects of the Omicron wave.
At present, he noted that overall ICU bed use at hospitals is at 25% and 61% for non-critical care while bed use at the quarantine centres is at 52%.
Meanwhile, Khairy said that the ministry will stop issuing the daily Covid-19 figures on the same day itself but will do so the following day at 10am instead.
He said this is being done to avoid creating fear among the public who may focus only on a particular set of figures without taking the entire daily data into account in its proper context.
"This will reduce the fear factor and educate society to look at the data, more than just on the daily cases," he added.