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Seniors and those living with them should minimise social interactions, get COVID-19 vaccinations: Ong Ye Kung

Seniors and those living with them should minimise social interactions, get COVID-19 vaccinations: Ong Ye Kung

Vaccination for seniors aged 70 or above started on Feb 22, 2021. (Photo: Hani Amin)

SINGAPORE: Seniors and those living with them should minimise their social interactions during this period as COVID-19 community cases are on the rise, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (Sep 10).

Seniors are at higher risk of developing serious health complications if they are infected with COVID-19, MOH has said.

Speaking at a COVID-19 multi-ministry task force press conference, Mr Ong said urged seniors to minimise their social interactions for the next month.

"Just go out for essentials, like buying food or see the doctor. This is especially if you’re still unvaccinated.

"And if you pull down your mask to below your nose and chat with your friends for an hour, you put yourself at a very high risk of infection," said Mr Ong, adding that they should consider getting themselves vaccinated if they are not.

Vaccinations for seniors across Singapore started on Feb 22. Mobile vaccination teams have been deployed to neighbourhoods for those who want to get vaccinated, while people can walk into a vaccination centre without an appointment to get inoculated.

He also urged young people who are living with seniors to "help protect them".

"Also minimise your social interactions. Cut back on eating out, or bringing many friends to your home, because these activities can easily bring the virus to the seniors living at home," said the Health Minister.

Those who are pregnant should get themselves vaccinated, Mr Ong said, adding that the scientific data internationally is "very clear" that vaccines are safe for the mother and baby. 

"But a COVID-19 infection is not safe for you and your baby," the minister said.

Since Jun 4, pregnant women have been able to register and book a vaccination appointment. This comes after MOH said on May 31 that there is "currently no evidence" to suggest that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may cause harm to pregnant women and their babies.

“And if you’re someone who are somehow still not vaccinated, or have been persuading your parents, grandparents or pregnant wife not to get vaccinated, it is perhaps time to reconsider.

“The risk between vaccinating and not vaccinating has significantly shifted. More than ever, we need to work together, exercise civic consciousness and personal responsibility and to take care of ourselves and take care of everyone around us.”

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Source: CNA/cc