Seniors turn up to receive booster shots with opening of five new vaccination centres

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SINGAPORE - He keeps a busy schedule and had just returned from a business trip to India but on Thursday (June 23), Mr Ivan Lim was at the new Covid-19 joint testing and vaccination centre in Bukit Merah.

He had turned up for his second booster shot.

The 65-year-old director of a logistics company was among a number of seniors who streamed in to the centre in Lower Delta Road, one of five new vaccination centres which opened on Thursday.

"I travel quite often for work and with the cases increasing and the possibility of a new Covid-19 wave, it is necessary to take the booster," said Mr Lim, who added that he was in the area.

The new centres, located in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Sengkang, Woodlands and Yishun, will offer mRNA vaccines.

The opening brings the total to 10 joint testing and vaccination centre across Singapore.

Anyone aged 50 and above can walk in to any vaccination centre for a second booster shot.

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) website, the centres can also conduct both antigen rapid tests and polymerase chain reaction tests.

They are also designed so operations can scale up if new Covid-19 variants emerge.

When the Straits Times visited the vaccination centre in Bukit Merah at 2pm, there were around 10 people queueing up.

Colour-coded signs have been put up to inform people of the different services - green for the vaccination sections and purple for the testing areas.

An MOH spokesman said the two areas do not intersect, and there is no possibility for contact between the two groups of people.

The vaccination centre in Bukit Merah saw around 60 people, mostly elderly, walking in from 9am to get their shots.

A 66-year-old retiree, who only wanted to be known as Mr Fan, said he waited less than 30 minutes for his second booster jab.

"With the new variant and more people getting Covid-19, it is better to just get a jab. I am not young anymore," he added.

Singapore could be hit by the next wave of the virus in July or August due to the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said earlier this month.

But MOH said 80,000 seniors aged 60 and above have yet to get their booster shots, even though this means they would be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill or dying from Covid-19.

At the Yishun vaccination centre, about 50 people had turned up between 9am a...

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