SINGAPORE – Even though an umbrella cannot totally prevent you from getting wet, it is still better to have one when it rains as you will get drenched otherwise.
In the same way, Covid-19 vaccines cannot completely prevent one from getting infected, but they can still lower the risk and ward off severe illness.
This was the analogy offered by Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo in a two-minute Cantonese skit with veteran actress Xiang Yun.
It is part of a new video series by which features politicians teaming up with celebrities to encourage seniors to get their jabs.
They can be viewed on the YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Some of the videos, including Mrs Teo’s, racked up tens of thousands of views within a day of being posted.
Other videos feature Health Minister Ong Ye Kung conversing in Mandarin with actress Zoe Tay and in Hokkien with actor Cavin Soh, and Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Koh Poh Koon speaking in Teochew with actor Rayson Tan.
The Tamil video features Transport Minister S. Iswaran with pilot and variety show host Saravanan Ayyavoo.
The Malay video sees Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Communications and Information Rahayu Mahzam teaming up with radio DJ Abdul Razak, better known as DJ RZ.
The videos all address common questions on the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Each video makes the point that inoculation also protects the person’s family members and wider society.
They stress that older people are more susceptible to severe illness and complications if they catch Covid-19, and that there is no evidence the vaccines can lead to heart attacks and stroke for elderly people.
For seniors worried about the inconvenience, the videos also state that those aged 60 and up can go to any vaccination centre without an appointment.
The multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced that the Government would ramp up its vaccination programme from about 47,000 doses administered daily to up to 80,000 from Saturday (June 26).
During a press conference on Thursday (June 24), Mr Ong said about 75 per cent of seniors aged 60 and up had received at least one dose, but added that this was not enough.
The ministers chairing the task force stressed that unvaccinated seniors remain the most vulnerable to new Covid-19 infections as Singapore continues to ease restrictions in its reopening, and urged seniors to get their jabs as soon as possible.
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong noted that many of the cases in recent clusters in Bukit Merah View involved elderly people and that such outbreaks can easily happen in other areas.
Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said seniors will face greater risks as measures are eased.
“We have to be aware that once we allow more activities to resume, the risks will go up. Those who are vaccinated will continue to be protected but those who are not vaccinated, especially the seniors, will face a higher risk of infection and higher risk of severe disease.”

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