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Education, health ministries ‘working out’ plans to vaccinate students under 16: Chan Chun Sing

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Students wearing masks in a classroom. (Photo: Facebook/Ministry of Education, Singapore)

(Updated: )

SINGAPORE: The education and health ministries are “working out” plans to vaccinate students under the age of 16 against COVID-19, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Sunday (May 16).

“Once the approval for use is granted, we will roll out vaccinations to those below 16,” Mr Chan said in a Facebook post.

MOE said on Sunday that seven primary schools will move to home-based learning from Monday until the end of the school term on May 28. 

The announcement came after another four cases of COVID-19 emerged on Saturday among primary school students.

Two students at Yio Chu Kang Primary School were among the new cases. One is a household contact of an operating theatre nurse at Sengkang General Hospital who contracted the virus, and the other is his schoolmate and also his classmate at a tuition centre.

A pair of siblings at St Andrew’s Junior School who took the same school bus as a previously confirmed case are the other two new cases. 

READ: 19 new community cases in Singapore, including 8 linked to Changi Airport cluster

Timeline: How a COVID-19 cluster emerged at Learning Point tuition centre

“Our immediate priority is to ring-fence the schools with confirmed cases to safeguard the well-being of our students and staff,” Mr Chan wrote. 

During the home-based learning period for the seven schools, student care centres in the schools will continue operating. This will help support students with care needs and parents with childcare challenges, the minister said. 

“There are also students who are placed under quarantine order. It is not easy for a young child, even if some have an accompanying caregiver. But I am heartened to know that our students on quarantine are well cared for and they remain brave,” he added.

MOE announced tighter COVID-19 measures for schools and institutes of higher learning on Friday, including conducting co-curricular activities online and suspending external activities.

Private tuition and enrichment centres are also strongly encouraged to move lessons online during this period of heightened risk, the ministry said.

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