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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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ONG YE KUNG – GET THE BIVALENT VACCINE INSTEAD OF 2ND BOOSTER, IT’S JUST AS SAFE

Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook statement advising Singaporeans to get the bivalent vaccine over the 2nd booster shot, saying that it is just as safe.

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Ong Ye Kung’s Facebook statement

I have received several questions since Friday’s MTF announcement. Here are the replies.

  • Is an infection considered a shot?

Yes, for purposes of achieving minimum protection. So if you have an infection, followed by two mRNA shots, you have minimum protection. But beyond minimum protection, infection is not considered as a substitute for a shot to keep up-to-date with your vaccination.

To keep up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, if you are 50 years-old or older and have achieved minimum protection, you should receive an additional dose within 5 months to 1 year of the last vaccine dose.

  • Where do I go to get the bivalent vaccine? Can I go to a private clinic?

The Moderna/Spikevax bivalent vaccine will be available at our Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres (JTVC).

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Persons aged 50 and above, or those yet to achieve minimum protection, may walk into any JTVC offering the Moderna/Spikevax vaccines from 17 October 2022 onwards. You can refer to https://www.gowhere.gov.sg/vaccine to locate the nearest JTVC.

Do note that while VaccineGoWhere website also lists the nearest private clinics administering COVID-19 vaccines, the bivalent vaccine will only be available at JTVCs for now.

  • Can I skip my second booster and go straight to the bivalent dose?

Yes, you should. We have basically stopped counting boosters. You can just go receive the bivalent vaccine.

  • How safe is the updated bivalent vaccine?

Clinical studies show it has the same safety profile as the original Moderna/Spikevax mRNA vaccine, which has been administered over 3 million times locally. Serious adverse events (SAE) have been reported in about 6 in 100,000 vaccinations of the original formulation, and all have recovered or are recovering. HSA has also reported a declining rate of SAEs with further shots (i.e. even fewer have adverse reactions after taking boosters compared to taking primary series).

  • How safe is it to vaccinate young children under 5 years old?

Vaccination for children aged 6 months to 5 years with the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine is safe. Common side effects (such as injection site pain, fatigue, headache) were observed less commonly than in adults and subside within 2-3 days. SAEs are rare, with no cases of anaphylaxis or pericarditis/myocarditis observed in the clinical trial. To date, over a million doses have been administered in the US, with no safety concerns reported.

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