Last month, in response to queries from CNA on the rise of the Eris variant in the US, Singapore’s Health Ministry said it would continue to ensure available stocks of updated COVID-19 vaccines “if necessary and appropriate for the local situation”.
Earlier in August, the ministry said about 18 per cent of COVID-19 community cases in Singapore were infected with Eris.
HSA on Friday stressed that the updated vaccine would ensure continued protection as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves.
“As … new variants emerge, regular updating of approved COVID-19 vaccines would be necessary to ensure the continued effectiveness of the vaccines,” the agency added.
“This approach is not new and has been established for seasonal influenza vaccines which are updated every six months.”
Mr Ong, the minister, used his social media post to also urge Singaporeans – in particular the elderly – to get vaccinated once a year.
He said Singapore’s vaccination take-up rate was falling, “which means over time, our protection against COVID-19 will weaken”.
“The virus has not gotten milder, it is we who have gotten stronger, through vaccinations and safe recovery from infections,” said Mr Ong.