From Feb 1, More Restrictions for the Unvaccinated will be Implemented

Singapore’s Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) will extend to more events and venues from 1 Feb 2022. The VDS includes all indoor sports facilities and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

Unvaccinated guests will no longer be allowed to visit serviced apartments, hotels, and hostels for leisure purposes. Thus, only fully vaccinated individuals or people who have a 180-day exemption due to being previously infected with COVID-19 will be permitted to enter these spaces.

Last 14 Dec 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce said that the VDS expansion will be placed to “better protect the vulnerable and at-risk groups in our population, while allowing specific concessions for fully vaccinated individuals to return safely to the workplace”.


From February 1, all events must implement the VDS measures – regardless of the event size. This shall include media conferences, work-related events, and funerary memorial events.

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce decided that this change is necessary because “even smaller-sized events can spark transmission that can then spread to wider groups of people, especially in view of the Omicron variant.”


The VDS measures will be required at work-related events, media conferences, and funerary memorial events starting 1 Feb 2022. Funerals, wakes, or funeral processions that were held prior to cremation or burial do not fall under the VDS requirements. However, no more than thirty individuals at any time may participate in these activities.

There are other exemptions. Students in IHLs who are completing their full-time NITEC/Higher NITEC, degree, or diploma programs will be exempted from the VDS requirements when entering their respective academic institutions.


Last 26 Dec 2021, the Ministry of Health announced that unvaccinated workers will no longer be permitted to return to the workplace despite having negative pre-event testing (PET) result. This statement was released to the press:

“Following the review and discussion with tripartite partners, we have decided to remove the PET concession for unvaccinated persons to return to the workplace from 15 Jan, 2022.”

Partially vaccinated workers who received one dose of vaccine will be granted a grace period until January 31 to complete their vaccination and to enter their workplaces.

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These measures apply to foreign workers too. Foreigners who wish to work here on a long-term basis or want to renew their existing employment visas will have to be inoculated against COVID-19. According to the MOH, exemptions will be granted for children below 12 and for the people who are medically ineligible for the shots.



These precautionary measures were considered in view of a boost in COVID-19 infections by the Omicron variant. MOH stated that “international evidence indicates that the Omicron variant is likely to be more transmissible but less severe than the Delta variant.”

“We have done whatever we can to prepare ourselves for it; especially in administering boosters to our population and starting vaccinations for our children. We seek the cooperation and understanding of everyone, as we weather through an Omicron wave in the next one to two months,” added by the MOH.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, & 4



S’pore Chosen As BioNTech’s New Regional Headquarters

Since vaccination against COVID-19 began, countries have exhausted their efforts to secure sufficient doses that will inoculate their population. Securing enough doses to cover the population is not an easy feat. Manufacturing setbacks, travel limitations, and other factors have slowed down the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in some countries.

The World Health Organization explained that the vast majority of COVID-19 shots have been received by developed countries, while developing countries have obtained less than 1% (as of April 2021). In Singapore, a total of 4,047,651 vaccine doses have been administered as of May 30, 2021.

To further increase the production of vaccines and to address the current situation, BioNTech announced that it will open a manufacturing site in Singapore. BioNTech has chosen the country as its new regional headquarters. It is going to be its first manufacturing facility outside of Germany.

This venture is supported by Singapore Economic Development Board — a government agency under the trade ministry. Moreover, this expansion initiative is expected to create up to 80 additional jobs.


BioNTech (Biopharmaceutical New Technologies) is a German biotechnology company that manufactures and developes active immunotherapies for patient-specific approaches. It was founded in the city of Mainz in 2008. In 2020, it participated in the global fight against the pandemic by developing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

According to BioNTech, the Singapore manufacturing site will “address potential pandemic threats in Southeast Asia and will increase BioNTech’s global supply capacity of product candidates – also beyond vaccines – based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology”.

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The mRNA vaccines, like the Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, prompt the body to make a protein that is part of the virus. This aims to trigger an immune response.

The new manufacturing site will be able to produce hundreds of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines each year, depending on the specific vaccine. BioNTech projects that its Singapore facility could be operational as early as 2023.

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


Use Medisave To Overcome 11 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Health has long been associated with wealth. According to this age-old proverb, good health plays a vital role to reaching a prosperous life. Having poor immune system may lead to more abseentiesm at work or at school. Furthermore, you illnesses are usually accompanied by medicines and medical fees. You waste time and money when you are constantly sick.

The good news is that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has established the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) for Singaporeans aged 18 and beyond. You are encouraged to protect yourselves against vaccine-preventable diseases under the NAIS. In the beginning of next month (November 1, 2017), you will be allowed to use your Medisave to acquire recommended vaccinations for the specific population groups that you belong to.

To reduce confusion, I am highlighting that Medisave is different from MediShield. Medisave is the national medical savings account that Singaporeans need to fulfill to cover future medical needs. Individuals or your employers need to regularly contribute as long as you are employed. On the other hand, MediShield is a low-cost medical insurance scheme aimed to pay for larger hospitalization bills.

Now that you are enlightened about Medisave, I must eagerly note that this vaccination scheme is highly encouraged. However, it is not mandated! You are free to discuss your vaccination needs with your trusted physician. You do not want to be allergic to the ingredients of a particular vaccine (e.g., the latest Influenza shot I took was not suitable to individuals who are allergic to egg)! That will only make matters worse.

If you wish to use your Medisave, you must ask your healthcare provider prior to the vaccination. You will be able to use up to S$400 at public healthcare institutions, Medisave-accredited GPs, and private hospitals. The eleven diseases covered by this scheme are:

(i) Influenza;

(ii) Pneumococcal (PCV13/PPSV23);

(iii) Human Papillomavirus (HPV2/HPV4);

(iv) Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap);

(v) Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR);

(vi) Hepatitis B; and

(vii) Varicella.

Let us part ways with the significant words stated by the Senior Minister of State for Health – Dr. Lam Pin Min.

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“Vaccination provides a person with protection against infectious diseases, and is one of the strategies to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks in the community. While the coverage for vaccinations under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme has been high for most of the vaccines, there is low awareness of the benefits of adult vaccination for personal protection and protection of at-risk family members. With the introduction of the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), we hope to encourage Singaporeans to take up the recommendations made in the NAIS, to protect themselves and their loved ones against the relevant infectious diseases.”

Sources:  1 & 2