Got a question about Covid-19 vaccines for kids in Singapore? We've pulled together the ultimate guide that answers all your questions. From how to apply for your kid's vaccine to what vaccine is used in Singapore for kids, here are all the details...
While it’s great news that kids will get protection from Covid-19 through the rollout of the vaccine, you might still have a lot of questions about how the process will work and what it all means for your family. So, we thought we’d put together this handy-dandy guide to answer your burning questions on Covid-19 vaccines for kids here in Singapore.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: COVID-19 VACCINES FOR KIDS IN SINGAPORE
1. Why the need to vaccinate kids?
The recent spike in Covid-19 infections in Singapore has seen more community cases. Although affected kids were not seriously ill, it did flag that measures are perhaps needed to target and protect this group as well, given that they’re in such close proximity to one another in schools.
2. Is the Covid-19 vaccine already available for kids in Singapore?
Yes! Children who have crossed their fifth birthday in 2021 can sign up for a vaccination appointment. Under the national vaccination programme, an adult’s consent is required before booking the appointment. The programme is open to all Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders.
3. Which Covid-19 vaccine will my child be given?
Only the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine will be offered for those under 18 as the Moderna vaccine hasn’t been approved for young people yet.
4. Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for kids?
As with all vaccines, thorough testing is always required before a vaccine can be approved for use, especially when it comes to kids. You can be assured that the Pfizer vaccine has the green light for everyone, with trials indicating it’s effective across most age groups. Just remember to avoid strenuous activities 14 days after each dose.
5. How do I book an appointment for my child?
You should receive an SMS with a link to book your child’s appointment. If they’re not under the Ministry of Education (MOE) vaccination exercise or your child has recovered within three months after their Covid-19 infection, you may register their interest at child.vaccine.gov.sg. Otherwise, you can walk in without an appointment before 7pm at any paediatric designated vaccination centre.
6. Should I accompany my child to their appointment?
Definitely, though only one parent is allowed due to safe management measures. The accompanying adult should bring along the child’s student identification, birth certificate, or passport for verification, together with the signed letter of consent (printed or electronic copy).
7. Where will my child be vaccinated?
There are several designated paediatric vaccination centres to choose from when it comes to booking your kid’s Covid-19 vaccine. For more info on the locations, visit the map on the Ministry of Health (MOH) website.
8. My child is at a special education school – will the vaccine rollout be different?
Just like the previous arrangement for the 12- to 17-year-olds, the rollout will see mobile vaccination units visit schools to make the process easier. However, you can also register your child to get their vaccination at a pediatric vaccination centre.
9. What side effects will my child experience after their vaccination?
You can expect similar side effects that folks in the other age groups have experienced. These vary from person to person, and may include pain and swelling at the injection site, fever and chills, tiredness, and swollen lymph nodes. These should resolve within a few days.
10. Should I bring my child to the doctor if their side effects don’t subside?
Yes, especially if your little one still has a fever for more than two days, respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste/smell, and chest pain.
11. What happens if my child develops an allergic reaction to the vaccine?
A severe allergic reaction is rare, but it can happen. If your child experiences an allergic reaction, call 995 or go to the nearest A&E. Your child will not be able to complete the full dose Pfizer vaccine regime. Instead, they can take up the three-dose Sinovac/CoronaVac primary series.
12. Will there be differentiated measures if my child is not vaccinated?
As of now, unvaccinated kids are still able to dine in at food establishments, participate in sports activities, and attend events.
COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT PROGRAMME IN SINGAPORE
13. Why is a booster shot needed?
Studies have shown that the level of protection is reduced six months after completing the last dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Given how contagious and fast-spreading the new variants are, booster vaccination will protect everyone from the virus. And yes, it’s completely safe to get a booster dose.
14. Do I need to take the same vaccine as my primary doses?
Unless you’re below 18 years of age, you can choose either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine for your booster dose. The government strongly encourages you to mix it up, AKA if you’ve taken Pfizer previously, go ahead and get the Moderna booster vaccine.
15. If I’ve been infected with Covid-19, do I still need to take the booster?
As of now, those who have recovered from their Covid-19 infection and were fully vaccinated before being infected don’t have to take their booster shot.
16. When should I get my booster shot?
Five months after your last vaccine. An SMS with a link to book your appointment will be sent to you. Alternatively, you can walk in without an appointment before 7pm to any vaccination centre to get vaccinated. Children between 12 and 17 years of age can make a booster appointment from 14 March onwards.
17. How do I register my child (between 12 and 17 years old) for their booster shot?
The process is similar to the primary vaccination series, which also includes the consent for their booster vaccination. Parents need not accompany their children if they’re 13 years old and above unless they’re from a special education school. This age group is only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
COVID-19 VACCINES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND BREASTFEEDING MUMS IN SINGAPORE
Previously, mums-to-be had been advised to avoid the vaccine, with those who breastfeed told to avoid feeding for five days post jab. This has since changed, and the new guidelines suggest it’s safe for both – hooray! Here are more details on what the measures mean for those affected…
18. What’s the advice for pregnant women when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines?
The guidelines in place show no evidence suggesting that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines cause harm to the mother or child. If you still have concerns, chat with your doctor.
19. Can I have the Covid-19 vaccine if I’m still breastfeeding?
There’s no longer the requirement to suspend breastfeeding, which could be challenging for many. This is in line with the advice given in other countries, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO), who have also recognised that the vaccine does not have adverse outcomes when it comes to breastfeeding.
Have we missed a burning question? Send us a DM and let us know!
All the information is sourced from MOH guidelines and is up to date at the time of publishing. As things change and evolve quickly, it’s always best to check with MOH or your doctor.