22 Apr 2022 07:01PM (Updated: 22 Apr 2022 09:22PM)
SINGAPORE: The Expert Committee on COVID-19 (EC19V) does not recommend that people aged 60 to 79 years take a second booster shot, but they can take the jab if they wish to, said Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak on Friday (Apr 22).
The second booster vaccine dose should be administered about five months after receiving the first booster. This timing is based on Singapore’s local data, which shows that waning of vaccination protection takes place after 150 days, said Dr Mak at a virtual press conference held by the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.
Those in the 60 to 79 age group can receive their second booster by walking into any vaccination centre offering mRNA vaccines before 7pm.
This is in addition to the earlier recommendation of a second booster for some groups – those aged 80 and above, residents of aged care facilities, and the medically vulnerable.
Dr Mak said local data shows that vaccine effectiveness against severe disease remains high for some time after primary vaccination and a booster, but there is a difference based on age groups.
The vaccination effectiveness for those older than 60 remains well above 80 per cent, and in some cases reaches 90 per cent at the 120- to 180-day mark after booster vaccination.
“This affirms the importance then of having up-to-date vaccinations to reduce the risk of getting severe infections and dying from COVID-19,” he said.
The data also shows some benefit of a second booster dose in those aged 60 to 79, but not to the same “great extent” as in those above 80. This is because the incidence of severe infection in these age groups is lower compared to octogenarians, he said.
In even younger age groups, between the ages of 12 to 60 years, data suggests that the second booster dose is “not as beneficial at this time” as the risk of getting severe infection for them is much lower, unless they already have chronic medical conditions.