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COVID-19 crisis: Singapore to prioritise students in vaccination

"Our next step is that we're going to offer vaccination to our school students, the teenagers, following which it'll be open season for everyone in Singapore," said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan

Singapore to vaccine students at the earliest Singapore to vaccine students at the earliest

Amid vaccination frenzy across the world, Singapore has come out with a plan to achieve 'great acceleration' of vaccination. The city-state plans to roll out vaccines to students and then follow it up with others who are eligible.

"Our next step is that we're going to offer vaccination to our school students, the teenagers, following which it'll be open season for everyone in Singapore," said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in an interview to CNN. The city-state had earlier estimated that all eligible beneficiaries could receive the COVID-19 vaccine dose at least by the end of August.

Vaccination in Singapore is currently open to all those aged 40 years and above, as well as for priority workforces such as hospital staff, first responders and airport staff. However, Singapore is yet to open up properly even as it has managed to control COVID-19 cases.

Singaporean borders are shut following the recent surge in cases, classes are being conducted from home, in-person dining has been suspended and soon. The only way to reopen Singapore is to undertake widespread vaccination. Hence, the city-state is looking to increase vaccination significantly.

Balakrishnan said that there is not much vaccine hesitancy but there is a shortage of supply. Nevertheless, infrastructure is in place to support additional injections. "Watch this space. You're going to see a great acceleration," said the minister.

So far, 37 per cent of Singaporean population have had their first dose of the vaccine. As such, it is ahead of most developed Asian countries and at par with EU's average. It is yet to catch up with the US, the UK, Israel, UAE and Qatar.

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