There’s good news and bad news depending on your point of view. So here goes with the good news first…
Singapore is rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine faster than expected. Over 70s start their mass vaccination tomorrow, February 22. Those aged 60-69 will start getting their invitations in mid-March, and the rest of the population will start to be vaccinated in April. That’s 2 months earlier than I expected.
The bad news is that the take-up rate is pretty low and many are taking a wait and see attitude. To them, the vaccine is feared more than Covid-19 is. Although it is not widely reported locally only 34.6 percent of the population are willing to be vaccinated when invited.
The low take-up rate probably explains the faster than expected rollout.
The last bit of news I have mixed feelings about. It is good that front line wotkers who are vulnerable have been given priority, and they include healthcare workers, airline and airport staff, bus drivers, maritime workers, bank tellers. The bad part is that some of them might feel unduly pressured to get it. I know some management leaders who got it because it was the “right thing to do and they had to lead by example”. My Facebook and LinkedIn streams are full of cheerful vaccine selfies.
I do hope more change their minds and willingly get the vaccine. There may be a difficult period in the future when many are vaccinated but the government would not let up restrictions because too many remain unvaccinated. The vaccinated group are going to feel quite peeved and ask for more freedom. Then there might be two sets of rules for the different groups, for example, one group can travel and the other can’t.