From booking an appointment to what parents should bring: All you need to know about COVID-19 vaccinations for kids aged 5 to 11
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Early Childhood Development Agency announced the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for children aged five to 11 on Tuesday (Dec 21).
Singapore approved the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for use in children in this age group earlier this month. And vaccinations will begin as planned with the expected arrival of the first shipment of paediatric vaccine doses on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
Here’s what you need to know about the vaccination programme for this age group:
WHEN WILL VACCINATIONS BEGIN?
Vaccinations will begin on Dec 27, with older children being vaccinated before younger children. Bookings will begin on Dec 22 for parents of pupils from Primary 4 to Primary 6 in MOE schools below the age of 12 in 2022.
Parents of children born between 2009 and 2012, regardless of schooling type including those in international schools and those who are home-schooled, will be able to register their interest to vaccinate their children from Dec 27 through the national appointment system.
After registration on child.vaccine.gov.sg, parents and guardians can expect to receive a unique link via SMS within three to five working days to book a vaccination appointment.
From the week of Jan 3 next year, parents and guardians of Primary 1 to 3 students in MOE primary schools can expect to progressively receive a unique link via SMS to book a vaccination appointment, MOE and ECDA said.
From the week of Jan 10, parents and guardians of all children aged five and above may proceed to register their interest on the national appointment system. Similarly, they can expect to receive a unique link via SMS within three to five working days to book a vaccination appointment after registration.
Children must have crossed their 5th birthday before they are eligible to book an appointment and receive the vaccination.
Students in primary levels at madrasahs will largely follow similar arrangements as those in MOE primary schools, and an SMS invitation will also be sent to their parents and guardians.
The programme will be open to all Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders.
WHERE WILL THE VACCINATION BE HELD?
Fifteen designated paediatric vaccination centres are located islandwide. The following seven centres will begin operations on Dec 27:
|Senja-Cashew Community Club|
|Nanyang Community Club|
|Our Tampines Hub|
|Pasir Ris Elias Community Club|
|Woodlands Galaxy Community Club|
|Nee Soon East Community Club|
|Hougang Community Club|
Another seven vaccination centres will begin operations on Jan 3:
|Clementi Community Centre|
|Former Hong Kah Secondary School|
|Queenstown Community Centre|
|Toa Payoh West Community Club|
|Jalan Besar Community Club|
|Marine Parade Community Club|
|The Serangoon Community Club|
Another vaccination centre located in Yusof Ishak Secondary School (Punggol campus) will begin vaccinations on Jan 11.
WHAT MUST PARENTS BRING?
Parents need to bring their child’s student identification, or other forms of identification, such as birth certificate or passport, for verification purposes.
Those who registered their interest on the national appointment system will also be required to sign a consent form and bring along a hardcopy or softcopy to the vaccination centre for verification. The consent form can be found on the system.
Consent from a parent or guardian is required to book a vaccination appointment for both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine, and all children aged five to 11 must be accompanied by one parent or guardian at the vaccination centre for the appointment.
Only one parent is allowed to accompany the child to ensure compliance with safe management measures at the vaccination centres.
HOW ABOUT CHILDREN OUTSIDE OF MAINSTREAM SETTINGS?
To facilitate access for children in special education schools and ECDA-funded Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) centres, MOH will deploy mobile vaccination teams to these locations for all eligible students from Jan 12.
Parents and guardians may either opt for their child to receive the vaccination via these mobile vaccination teams, or register their interest on the national appointment system for their child to receive the vaccination at a paediatric vaccination centre, MOE and ECDA said.
The special education schools and EIPIC centres will share registration instructions and guidelines with the parents and guardians of these children.
Parents and guardians of children with special and developmental needs, who do not attend such schools and centres, may register their interest on the national appointment system when their children’s respective age bands are eligible for registration.
HOW SAFE IS THE VACCINE?
MOE and ECDA said that the Phase 3 clinical trial of the vaccine has shown that the Pfizer BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children in this age group.
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination has assessed that the “benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks”, the agencies added.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine approved for children aged 5 to 11 in Singapore.
WILL UNVACCINATED CHILDREN BE TREATED THE SAME?
MOH said earlier in December that there are presently no plans to introduce vaccination-differentiated safe management measures for children aged 12 years and below
"The focus now is to ensure our children are well-protected by vaccination," MOH said.
MOE said during the news conference on Tuesday that when it comes to unvaccinated children taking part in "higher risk" activities, they will have to follow the "sensible thing" in accordance with the national regime.