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Updated 24 Aug 2022

General Information on COVID-19 Booster


 

Who should receive a booster?

A:

Individuals aged 12 years and older are recommended to receive a booster dose from about five months after the last dose of their primary vaccination series*, or as soon as possible thereafter, in order to maintain good protection against COVID-19.

Persons who had recovered from COVID-19 and completed the recommended COVID-19 primary vaccination are similarly recommended to receive a booster dose. This should also be from about five months after the last dose of their primary vaccination series and should be received at least 28 days after the infection, although they are recommended to do so three months from the infection for better effectiveness.

Individuals aged 12-17 years are recommended to receive a booster dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, while individuals aged 18 years and older are recommended to receive a booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine or the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine- under the National Vaccination Programme.

For those who received the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine as their third vaccine dose as part of a three-dose primary vaccination series incorporating the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccines, they should receive a booster dose of a mRNA vaccine under the National Vaccination Programme earlier - from three months after the third dose of the vaccine, due to lower antibody levels generated by the third vaccine dose.

This booster dose should not be delayed beyond nine months after the primary vaccine course.

*The primary vaccine course may comprise of either:

·       Two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna/Spikevax or the Novavax/Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine;
·       Two or more doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccines as part of a three-dose primary vaccination series; or
·       A complete primary vaccination regimen of other WHO EUL vaccines.

S/N

Scenario

Booster recommended?

1

Completed 2 doses of mRNA or Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccines

Yes

2

Completed 3 doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac

Yes

3

Completed primary series regimen of other WHO EUL vaccines:

· Completed 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson

· Completed 2 doses of AstraZeneca, Covishield, Covaxin, Novavax

· Completed 3 doses of Sinopharm

Yes

4

Fully vaccinated persons, who have previously recovered from infection

Yes


Note: Recommendations for Sinovac-CoronaVac will apply to Sinopharm as well.


Why is there a need for a booster dose?
A:

Local and international data show reduced vaccine protection against COVID-19 infection from around six months after completion of the last vaccine dose in the primary vaccination series or earlier. The level of protection drops even further over time. There is also some reduction in protection against severe disease, particularly in older persons. In addition, international studies have shown that the protection against Omicron variant infection by a primary vaccination series is weaker compared to previous variants, and that boosters increase the protection against infection and severe illnesses caused by Omicron. As such, booster vaccination is crucial to ensure continued protection against COVID-19.

 I tested positive on self-administered ART and have yet to complete my COVID-19 primary vaccination series. When can I take my next dose?
A:

You should proceed to complete your vaccination. It is safe for you to receive two doses of mRNA vaccines for the primary vaccination series, and you are also recommended to receive one dose of the mRNA vaccine as a booster. If you are not medically eligible for the mRNA vaccines, you should complete your vaccination using alternative vaccines (e.g. Novavax/Nuvaxovid, Sinovac).

If you are due for your vaccination based on the schedules recommended in the national vaccination programme (e.g. to receive a booster dose about 5 months after two doses of mRNA vaccines), you may receive your next vaccine dose from 28 days after the infection, although you are recommended to do so three months from the infection for better effectiveness.

 Persons who are immunocompromised are already required to receive three doses as part of the primary series. Do they need to receive a booster as well?
 A:Persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise are recommended to receive four doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, comprising a three-dose enhanced primary series and a booster dose for the fourth dose. There is currently no recommendation for a second booster (a fifth vaccine dose) in this group.

Some immunocompromised persons may have followed the vaccination regime recommended for the general population andreceived the third dose as a booster dose after receiving the first two doses as part of the primary series) instead. In consultation with their doctors, these patients should receive a fourth dose  of the vaccine at around five months after their third dose.

The recommendation for immunocompromised persons to receive four doses applies to persons aged 12 years and above. Persons aged 5 to 11 years who are immunocompromised are recommended three doses as part of the enhanced primary series, but no booster dose is recommended for this age group at this time.
 Should persons who had completed the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine three dose primary series receive a booster?  What booster should they receive? 
 A:

Persons who have received two or more doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac* COVID-19 vaccines as part of a three-dose primary vaccination series are recommended to receive a booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna/Spikevax or Nuvaxovid vaccine, unless medically ineligible for the abovementioned vaccines.

Those who received an mRNA or the Nuvaxovid vaccine as their third dose should receive the booster dose about five months thereafter.

Those who received the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine as their third vaccine dose should receive the booster at three months thereafter, due to lower antibody levels generated by the third vaccine dose.

Those who are fully vaccinated with other WHO EUL vaccines are also recommended to receive a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine about five months after their primary series vaccination.

*Recommendations for Sinovac-Coronavac should similarly apply to Sinopharm

 Will individuals below the age of 12 be offered the booster dose?
A: 

Persons below the age of 12 years are currently not yet offered to receive a booster dose. MOH and EC19V will continue to monitor data on this and update the recommendations for this group of persons as necessary

 Will the booster dose affect my vaccination status?
A: 

Individuals aged 12 years and above are considered “fully vaccinated” for 270 days after the last dose in their primary vaccination series.

They should receive their booster dose at around five months after the last dose in their primary vaccination series (or three months for those who received the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine as their third vaccine dose) to maintain their fully vaccinated status beyond the 270 days.

If your vaccination status is not accurately reflected, you may raise your query at https://go.gov.sg/vds-query-form.

 Does my booster dose have to be of the same brand as my first 2 doses?
 
If you are aged 18 years and older, your booster doses can be of either brand of the mRNA vaccines or the Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccine offered under the National Vaccination Programme. Persons aged between 12 to 17 years old are currently only eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech/Cominarty vaccine for the booster dose. 
 Is a booster dose safe?
 A:

Yes, the EC19V has assessed that the benefits of another dose of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the recommended groups. There is now good international data that a booster dose of the vaccine is safe, enhances protection against COVID-19 infection and ensures continued excellent protection against severe disease.

Most side effects are mild or moderate, and usually get better within a few days.  As with all vaccines and medications, there is a small risk of serious adverse events. Countries which have been providing booster doses have not reported any safety concerns.

 What is the dosage used for booster vaccination?
 A:The dosages for booster vaccination by vaccine types are:

• 50 mcg for the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine
• 30 mcg for the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine
• 5 mcg for the Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccine

The booster dosage of the Moderna/Spikevax vaccine is less than the 100 mcg used for the first two doses. This is because data has shown that a 50 mcg dose effectively boosts the immune protection against COVID-19. If you have received a 100 mcg dose for your booster vaccination, there are no safety concerns in having done so.

The booster dosages of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccine is the same as that used for the first two doses.

First Booster


 When and how can I register for my booster dose?
A:

People who are eligible for their booster dose will be invited to be vaccinated, from five months after their second dose.

All individuals, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination may walk in for their primary vaccination series and booster doses, without prior appointment, every day of the week, before 6.30pm:

  • Individuals aged 12 to 17 may  walk in to any Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre (JTVC) offering the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine. These individuals will be required to bring a duly completed and signed hard or electronic copy of the parental consent form, which can be downloaded here.
  • Individuals aged 18 and above may walk into any JTVC.
  • If you are 60 years old and above, you may  walk into any JTVC or participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs).

Individuals mentioned above may also receive their vaccination at polyclinics and PHPCs. Vaccinations at polyclinics will only be accepted on appointment basis, with the exception of seniors aged 80 years and above who may walk in for their vaccination. Individuals who wish to receive their vaccination at participating PHPCs are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the PHPC to avoid long waiting times.

Alternatively, eligible individuals aged 18 and above will receive an SMS with a personalised link to book an appointment at appointment.vaccine.gov.sg.

Parents/guardians of individuals aged 12-17 will also receive the SMS notification, to provide consent and book their child/ward’s booster vaccination appointment.

 How can I register my child/ward (12 to 17 years old) for their booster dose?
A:

A booster dose is recommended for individuals aged 12 and above, from about 5 months after the last dose of their primary vaccination series. If your child/ward is 12 to 17 years old, he/she will require your consent to receive his/her booster vaccination.

Individuals aged 12 to 17 years old can walk in to any Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre (JTVC) offering the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine to receive their primary vaccination series and booster dose, without need for prior appointment. They must bring along their Student Identification, or if not available, other forms of identification (e.g. Birth Certificate/Passport/SingPass) for verification purposes, as well as a duly completed and signed hard or electronic copy of the parental consent form, which can be downloaded here.

You do not need to accompany your child/ward if he/she is aged 13 and above. However, if he/she is 12 years old or a student in a Special Education (SPED) school you will need to accompany him/her, as per the arrangements for the primary series vaccination.

Alternatively, you will receive an SMS at the mobile number that you had registered with for your child/ward’s primary series vaccination. The SMS will ask you to provide consent and book your child/ward’s booster vaccination appointment via the personalised booking link provided.


Second Booster


 [Updated 24 Aug] Who should receive a second booster?
 A:The following groups of people are recommended to receive a second booster dose from about five months after receiving their first booster dose.
• All persons aged 60 years and above;
• Persons living in aged care facilities, such as nursing homes;
• Medically vulnerable persons at higher risk of severe disease

Persons aged  50 to 59 years can also receive the second booster if they choose to do so.

Persons in the relevant groups who had recovered from COVID-19 and completed the first COVID-19 booster vaccination should follow the recommendations above. The second booster should be from about five months after the first booster but should be deferred until at least 28 days after the infection although they are recommended to do so three months from the infection for better effectiveness.

Persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise are recommended to receive four doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, comprising a three-dose enhanced primary series and a booster dose for the fourth dose. There is currently no recommendation for a second booster (a fifth vaccine dose) in this group.

 Why is a second booster recommended for certain groups of people?
A:Local data to date shows protection against severe disease is sustained after the third dose mRNA booster. However, there can be waning of protection, particularly in the elderly and medically vulnerable. International studies show that vaccine efficacy against hospitalisation declines after the third dose mRNA booster. Persons aged 80 years and above, residents of aged care facilities and medically vulnerable persons are at increased risk of severe disease and will be most affected by waning vaccine efficacy over time. These persons are therefore recommended to receive a second booster dose (i.e. fourth dose if receiving an mRNA vaccine) from about five months after receiving their first booster dose, for personal protection against severe disease.
 Who are considered medically vulnerable persons? I think I am medically vulnerable. How can I receive a second booster?
 

Medically vulnerable persons are individuals who are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to significant medical risk factors. These include persons with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and other organ systems.

From 1 July 2022, medically vulnerable persons aged 18 years and older with specific health conditions listed here, may self-declare their health conditions and receive their second booster. They may walk into any Joint Testing & Vaccination Centre and verbally declare to the vaccination staff on site of their health conditions before proceeding to receive their vaccination. They will no longer require a doctor’s referral to receive their second booster.

Persons with medical conditions which are not listed, or who are not sure if they are included in the listed groups should consult their doctor. Persons with other medical conditions which are not listed are able to receive the second booster with a doctor’s referral.

 [Updated 24 Aug] I am above 50 years old. When and how can I register for my second booster dose?
A:

If you are 60 years or older, and it has been about five months since you received your first booster, you can walk into any Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre (JTVC) or participating  Public Health Preparedness Clinic to receive your second booster dose. Walk-ins to JTVCs are available any day of the week before 6.30pm. Those who wish to receive their vaccination at participating PHPCs are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the PHPC to avoid long waiting times. Vaccinations at polyclinics will only be accepted on appointment basis, with the exception of seniors aged 80 years and above. To book an appointment at the JTVCs, participating PHPCs or polyclinics, you may do so when you receive the SMS with a personalised booking link.

If you are 50 to 59 years old, and it has been about five months since you received your first booster, you can also walk into any JTVC, before 6.30pm, to receive the second booster if you choose to do so.

 Why is my medical condition not listed as being medically vulnerable to severe COVID-19?  Why am I required to obtain a referral from my doctor when persons with other medical conditions don’t need to?
 A: 

If your health condition falls under the list here, you can self-declare your health condition to be eligible for the second booster

The listed medical conditions cover most medical conditions that are risk factors for severe COVID-19, but it is not possible for the list to include every condition.

Persons with medical conditions which are not listed, or who are not sure if they are included in the listed groups should consult their doctor. Persons with other medical conditions which are not listed are able to receive the second booster with a doctor’s referral.

 If I am aged below 18 years  and I am medically vulnerable, would I be eligible to receive a second booster?
 A:Persons aged 12 years to 17 years who are medically vulnerable and at increased risk of severe disease due to significant medical risk factors, will need a referral memo from their treating doctors to receive a second booster. This includes persons with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and other organ system. 

Those aged below 12 years old are not recommended to receive booster vaccination based on current recommendations. 

^Individuals aged 12-17 are only offered the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine



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