Rush for vaccine bookings as they open to under 30s

People aged between 16 and 29 on Friday rushed to make appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations, after the government opened up the online booking platform for its inoculation programme to all adults.

The Sinovac vaccine is now available for people aged 18 and above, while 16- and 17-year-olds also have the option of getting the BioNTech jab. Those under 18 will need to present a parental consent form when they arrive at the vaccination centre.

One of those who wasted no time in making a booking was Jamilla, who opted for BioNTech.

“I tried to book it first while I still have a choice,” she said. “I think the risk of taking the Sinovac jabs is very high, I don’t want to take it in any way.”

The 26-year-old said when she made the booking online, available vaccination slots for the day she picked were being quickly snapped up.

She said she expects young people to opt for the BioNTech shots, given the government’s plans to close vaccination centres for the German-manufactured vaccine in September.

A 20-year-old university student, Tiffany, also said she went for the BioNTech vaccine. She explained that she plans to go on an exchange programme next year and might need a “vaccination passport” to travel.

“I think BioNTech is more internationally recognised and it offers better protection,” she said.

Others, however, continued to take a wait and see approach, with some saying they want to see a larger sample of people being inoculated before doing so themselves.

“I want to wait a little bit, I need to do body checks first to make sure I’m suitable for the vaccination,” said Robert, who is 29.