21 December 2021
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM COVID-19 THROUGH VACCINATION
As part of the larger national efforts to keep our children, their families and the wider community safe, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be working with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to extend progressively the national vaccination programme to children aged 5 to 11 from 27 December 2021.
2 Only the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is offered to this age group as clinical trials have shown that it is safe and effective for them.
Designated Paediatric Vaccination Centres
3 To facilitate the vaccination of younger children, there will be 15 designated paediatric vaccination centres (VCs) located island-wide. These VCs will be manned by medical personnel trained in paediatric care, as well as staff experienced in vaccinating children.
Roll-out of Vaccination and Registration Process
4 The vaccination exercise will open progressively to all eligible children by age bands, starting with children born between 2009 and 2012, followed by those born between 2013 and 2017. From the week of 10 January 2022, parents/guardians of children aged 5 to 6 may proceed to register their interest on the National Appointment System (NAS) at child.vaccine.gov.sg. MOE and ECDA will provide an update in early January 2022 on the confirmed date for this phase of paediatric vaccination registration and booking. Please note:
• Children who turn 5 in 2022 must have crossed their 5th birthday before they are eligible to book an appointment and receive the vaccination.
• After the registration of interest, parents/guardians will receive a unique link via SMS within 3 to 5 working days to book a vaccination appointment for their child/ward at any of the 15 designated VCs.
• Parental/guardian consent is required to book a vaccination appointment for both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.
• All children aged 5 to 11 must be accompanied by their parent/guardian at the VC for their appointment. Only one parent/guardian is allowed per child/ward due to Safe Management Measures. • Show your child/ward’s Birth Certificate/Passport/identification document at the designated VC. Those who registered interest on the NAS must sign the parental consent form (found on the NAS) and bring the hard or soft copy to the VC.
Supporting children with developmental needs
5 To facilitate access for eligible children in ECDA-funded Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) centres, MOH will deploy mobile vaccination teams (MVTs) to the EIPIC centres from 14 January 2022 onwards. Parents/guardians may either opt for their child/ward to receive the vaccination via the MVT or register their interest on the NAS for their child/ward to receive the vaccination at a paediatric VC. EIPIC centres will share separately the registration instructions and guidelines with the parents/guardians of these children.
6 Parents/guardians of children with developmental needs who do not attend EIPIC centres, such as those from Private Early Intervention centres, may register their interest on the NAS for vaccination at the paediatric VCs when their child/ward’s age band is eligible for registration. These designated VCs are staffed with paediatric personnel trained in working with children with developmental needs, and they will be able to accommodate to the needs of these children.
Keeping your child’s preschool informed
7 If you choose to vaccinate your child/ward, please keep the preschool informed of your child/ward’s vaccination dates. The teachers will help to monitor your child/ward for any side effects after the vaccination. Generally mild to moderate, the side effects may be experienced when the body is responding to the vaccine. Examples include pain, redness and swelling at injection sites, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and chills, but these side effects tend to resolve on their own within a few days. Children who are unwell should rest at home and return to their preschool only when they have recovered.
8 MOH has also advised that children should avoid strenuous physical activity (e.g. running, swimming, cycling and ball/racket games) for two weeks after their first and second doses. With knowledge of your child/ward’s vaccination dates, the preschool will exempt him/her from physical activities for two weeks after each dose.
9 While COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, we do encourage all medically eligible children aged 5 to 6 to be vaccinated when the vaccine is made available to them. This will help keep our children and the community around them safe. For more information on the vaccination exercise for children aged 5 to 11, you may wish to refer to the following:
• Joint press release by MOE and ECDA at https://www.moe.gov.sg/news/press-releases/20211221-protecting-our-children-from-covid-19-with-vaccination- for-5-to-11-year-olds • Infographic on the vaccination of children aged 5-11 (Annex)
• Frequently asked questions at https://www.moe.gov.sg/faqs-covid-19-infection
• MOH Webinar for Parents on Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination for children (18 December 2021) at https://go.gov.sg/moh-child-vaccination
Early Childhood Development Agency