With the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Singapore will closely monitor the ongoing trials on its safety and effectiveness on children. There are hopes of being able to certify and administer them for students here soon.
According to Education Minister Lawrence Wong, the vaccines currently authorised for use by the Government are only allowed for individuals who are 16 and older.
Monitoring Trials On The Effects Of COVID-19 Vaccines For Kids Are Ongoing
Image source: iStock
On Sunday (21 March), Mr Wong posted a video as part of his “AskMeAnything” segment on his social media accounts answering questions on various topics. This, including whether students would need to be vaccinated against the virus.
He responded by saying that “there are trials that are happening now” and that they are monitoring these trials on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for kids. Mr Wong also shared, “And we hope that before too long, we will be able to certify the use of the vaccines for children in Singapore too.”
In an effort to protect students, the national vaccination programme was extended to more than 150,000 teachers and educational institution staff members. According to the Health Ministry, this will help inoculate those who have come into prolonged contact with children below 16 years old since they are not yet certified for vaccines.
Meanwhile, since mid-January, students who are pursuing healthcare courses in Singapore’s local universities, polytechnics, the Institutes of Technical Education and private colleges have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This is because these students undergo clinical training at healthcare institutions. During which they would frequently interact with patients and are at risk of exposure to catching the virus.
Mr Wong Answers Other Questions About Current Events
Image source: Screengrab from Facebook / Lawrence Wong
With the remaining of his video, Mr Wong also answered other questions regarding the PSLE, travelling and more. Aside from the monitoring of effects on vaccines for kids, here are a few questions he highlighter in his five-minute “AskMeAnything” post:
1. Will PSLE be easier or more difficult because of the new grading system?
Mr Wong clarifies that the PSLE will remain the same. He adds that the only thing they would be changing is its grading system. This is to encourage students to not be too obsessed with their PSLE scores and to not “chase after every last mark.”
2. Can we put solar panels on all our school buildings?
As solar panels are more environmentally friendly, Mr Wong confirms that there are actually already 130 schools in Singapore that are on this solar panel programme. There are plans to do the same for the rest of the schools over time.
3. When will be able to travel again?
Mr Wong shared that travelling overseas would depend a lot “on the COVID situation around the world.” He also says this will depend on the vaccination programme that is currently being undertaken.
“So if all goes well with the vaccination, then there is a chance that we may be able to allow for more travel without the quarantine when you come back by the year-end,” he says. “But we have to keep our fingers crossed.”
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