Did Singapore make a sudden U-turn and recommend against getting the second COVID-19 booster dose?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Singapore Recommends Against Second Booster Dose!
People are sharing a link to a Channel News Asia article, claiming that the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) advised people aged 60 to 79 against getting the second booster dose.
They are also claiming that the Singapore government made this sudden U-turn due to adverse effects from the second booster dose.
Singapore MOH: Second COVID-19 booster NOT RECOMMENDED for people aged 60 to 79.
With all the adverse effects, Singapore government is making a sudden U-turn. 😳🤔😷
Truth : Singapore Recommends Second Booster For Vulnerable Adults
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by anti-vaccination activists to scare people from protecting themselves against COVID-19, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : It Was An Old Article
First, let me establish some facts about the Channel News Asia article.
It’s a genuine news report, in which, Singapore’s Director of Medical Services said that :
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 (EC19V) does not recommend that people aged 60 to 79 years take a second booster shot, but they can take the jab if they wish to.
However, that news is not recent – it was published on 22 April 2022 – more than 3 months earlier. I will explain below why this is critical.
Fact #2 : There Was No U-Turn
Anti-vaccination activists falsely claimed that this was a U-turn, to mislead you into believing that they did so because of adverse effects from the booster dose.
The truth is – there was no U-turn. The April recommendations actually expanded who can receive the second booster dose.
In March 2022, the Singapore Expert Committee on COVID-19 (EC19V) recommended that only people age 80 years and above should get the second booster dose.
The April 2022 announcement actually expands coverage to senior citizens 60 to 79 years in age, although they do not recommend that they get the second booster dose yet.
Fact #3 : First Booster Dose Still Provided Good Protection
Anti-vaccination activists are also misleading you on WHY the Singapore MOH said that the second booster dose was not recommended for people aged 60-79.
The CNA article itself already stated the reasons clearly, but the trouble is – most people don’t even bother to read beyond the headlines.
So here is the truth – the Singapore MOH recommended against the second booster dose for that age group because the effectiveness of the first booster dose for that age group remained high – 80% to 90% at the 120- to 180-day mark.
This affirms the importance then of having up-to-date vaccinations to reduce the risk of getting severe infections and dying from COVID-1.
Fact #4 : It Was A Strategy To Defend Against Next COVID-19 Wave
Singapore had COVID-19 under control in April 2022, and the additional protection from the second booster dose wanes after about 2 months.
So they wanted to delay vaccinating the younger population (under 80 years old) until they face a new wave of more virulent Variants of Concern (VOC).
That was when the second booster dose would be most effective – boosting protection at a time of high viral transmission.
If we need to provide the second booster dose for the younger population, this is more appropriate as a strategy to augment immune protection in a time when we are experiencing a new wave of a highly transmissible or highly virulent novel VOC (variant of concern) rather than at a time where the situation is improving.
Fact #5 : Singapore Expanded Second Booster To 50+
On 10 June 2022, the EC19V updated their recommendations, offering the second booster dose in Singapore to:
- all persons aged 50 years and older
- persons aged 18 years and above who are medically vulnerable too severe COVID-19
This decision came after Singapore got hit with a new wave fuelled by the highly-contagious Omicron variants that started in May and continues to surge even now, at the end of July 2022.
Fact #6 : Second Booster Dose Same As Primary Vaccine
Singapore offers three booster doses – Moderna Spikevax, Pfizer COMIRNATY and Novavax Nuvaxovid.
The Pfizer and Novavax booster doses have the same dosage as the primary doses, but the Moderna vaccine is offered at half the primary dose.
The first and second booster doses are really the same vaccine as the primary series vaccine, so there is no reason for new adverse effects to develop.
If you experienced no adverse effects with the first two primary doses, there is simply no reason why you should develop new adverse effects with either the first or the second booster doses, if they are of the same vaccine.
Fact #7 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe + Effective
COVID-19 vaccines underwent massive clinical trials, and were only approved after they were proven to be safe and effective.
In addition, they were constantly monitored after they received their approvals, which picked up rare side effects after they were administered to billions of people.
Anti-vaccination activists have often claimed that those who received the vaccine would die. Yet, the opposite was true – the vaccines are not only safe, they are effective in protecting people from getting hospitalised or dying from COVID-19.
Even prominent antivaxxer Steve Kirsch is healthy and well, despite being fully-vaccinated against COVID-19!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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