People who choose not to get the Covid-19 vaccine will not need to have a change of duties at their workplaces, unless there is a resurgence in the number of local cases, said Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in a recent statement.
The statement was made in response to queries of those who were asking if people who are unvaccinated will have their job scopes reviewed, in order to reduce exposure to the virus.
Gan added that all workers should continue to take the necessary safety precautions that have been implemented up till now, which include wearing masks where required, donning personal protective equipment, and undergoing rostered routine testing.
He noted that there are certain groups of employees, such as researchers or laboratory staff, who may be working directly with the Covid-19 virus or face high risk of exposure to infected individuals.
The Health and Manpower ministries are also in the process of reviewing the issue of vaccinating workers in such workplace settings, and will provide further advice at a later date.
In his ministerial statement on Singapore’s response to the pandemic, Gan said that the Health Ministry (MOH) will also introduce a vaccine injury financial assistance programme.
The scheme will be set up to support those who suffer severe adverse effects that has been assessed to be related to Covid-19 vaccines administered in Singapore.
“While we expect few to need this, the programme will give peace of mind to those taking the vaccination. Further details on the programme will be provided in due course,” said Gan.
Gan said that the Health Sciences Authority, as well as an independent expert committee appointed by his ministry, have studied the data on potential side effects caused by the Covid-19 vaccine.
The data includes information from clinical trials as well as the actual experience of countries where vaccination efforts are under way.
“They have factored this into their evaluation before granting authorisation or making a recommendation on the use of Covid-19 vaccines,” he said.
It has also been cautioned that people who get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may experience side effects such as pain at the injection site, fatigue, fever, muscle aches or headaches.
The authorities have recommended that those with certain known severe allergies should not be vaccinated.