Having passed the 80 per cent double-vaccination mark last month, the example of Singapore suggests that achieving a milestone coveted by Australia is not a guarantee of returning to anything like pre-pandemic life.
The island state reluctantly delayed reopening measures and re-imposed some restrictions last week after seeing its highest daily COVID-19 infections in more than a year.
On Sunday, the nation of 5.7 million people reported 555 new local COVID-19 cases, the most since August 2020. …
Singapore’s Ministry of Health last week banned social gatherings at workplaces after recent clusters in staff canteens and pantries, believed to have been caused by employees removing their masks in common areas. …
Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases expert from Singapore’s Rophi Clinic, said the Delta strain had moved the goalposts, in terms of what level of community vaccination was necessary.
“They set a target of 80 per cent, which is too low … it would have worked fine for the Alpha strain but this is Delta, a variant with easily two to three times more transmissibility,” Dr Leong said.
“They now need at least 90 per cent vaccination, which is technically not possible due to hardened anti-vaxxers or refusers.”
Dr Leong said 80 per cent was “not good enough because it can still burden the hospital system very significantly and there will be too many excess deaths”.
Singapore’s 80% is higher than Australia’s “80%”:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison set a vaccination target as part of his four-step opening plan for Australia, with phase C triggered when double vaccination reached 80 per cent.
However, Australia’s threshold is actually lower because it is based on the population aged over 16.
Singapore’s threshold is based on the total population.