[Article has been updated on 14 December 2020, 5:40pm]
Singapore has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today (14 December) in an address.
The first shipment is expected to arrive by the end of this month, making Singapore one of the first few nations to obtain this vaccine.
Singapore is also expecting other vaccines to arrive here in the coming months.
If all goes according to plan, the country will have enough vaccines for everyone here by the third quarter of 2021.
PM Lee outlined Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy, which was recommended by a committee of doctors and experts set up by Ministry of Health (MOH).
The committee has proposed that the entire adult population should be vaccinated, but to make vaccinations voluntary.
First Priority For High-Risk Individuals
First priority will be given to those who are at greatest risk, such as healthcare workers and front-line personnel, as well as the elderly and vulnerable.
Thereafter, the rest of the population will be progressively vaccinated, with everyone who wants a vaccination to get one by the end of next year.
The Government has decided to make vaccinations free for all Singaporeans, and for all long-term residents who are currently here, he added.
PM Lee said that he and his colleagues will be getting themselves vaccinated early to show Singaporeans, especially seniors, that they believe the vaccines are safe.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong also assured Singaporeans that only vaccines that meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness will be used.
Vaccine Safe For Those Aged 16 And Above
The HSA has granted the authorisation of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine under the pandemic special access rule, according to MOH Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak.
He said that the vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, and it is recommended for those 16 years of age and above.
However, pregnant women, immuno-compromised patients, and those under 16 are not recommended to be vaccinated.
He added that the HSA will continue to actively monitor the safety profile of the vaccines.
Featured Image Credit: Financial Times