The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has announced that it has lowered the age threshold for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to 40 years of age.
The change comes as part of the phased roll-out of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program, which prioritizes those members of the population most at risk from COVID-19. More than 765,000 doses have been administered since the start of the campaign to older people, those with chronic conditions, healthcare workers and other key essential workers.
The lowering of the age threshold for vaccine eligibility to 40 years means the current priority groups for COVID-19 vaccinations are as follows:
- People aged 40 years of age and above regardless of their health conditions
- People with moderate chronic medical conditions
- Additional healthcare professionals and other key workers in different ministries and industries, including teachers and administration staff in education
In the past few weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen continuously, leading to significant numbers of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care every day with severe symptoms. Since the start of the pandemic it is the elderly who have been most at risk from severe complications, but in this second wave of the virus the healthcare system is now seeing more younger people becoming sick and needing medical care. Lowering the age limit to 40 years will enable this age group to get vaccinated and reduce their risk.
The appointment process for vaccinations remains the same. People who are eligible for the vaccine at this stage will be contacted directly by Primary Health Care Corporation via SMS or phone call to arrange their appointment. People who meet the new 40 years of age and above eligibility criteria and who have already registered their interest online via the MOPH vaccine registration service will be given priority for appointments over the next three to four weeks.
Source: Ministry of Public Health