Over 6,200 in Singapore receive Covid-19 vaccine


Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong receiving the Covid-19 vaccination from Dr Richard Tan at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital on Jan 13, 2021. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): More than 6,200 people have received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine since Singapore kicked off its vaccination drive, with eight vaccination centres to be set up by the end of February, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

This includes two centres at Changi Airport Terminal 4 and Raffles City Convention Centre that are already operational, as well as two more at the former Hong Kah Secondary School and Woodlands Galaxy Community Club that will be ready next week.

Another four centres will be ready in February, and more centres will be progressively opened as Singapore expands its vaccination programme, added Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19.

Shots will also be given at polyclinics and general practitioner clinics.

He was speaking to reporters during a visit to Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine along with task force co-chair Lawrence Wong and other nursing home staff.

Gan urged other Singaporeans to get vaccinated when their turn comes, stressing that this is key to the further reopening of activities in the community and economy.

The pace of vaccination is being ramped up from this week, with close to 2,800 vaccinated on Tuesday, said Mr Gan. He added that the first four centres have been located in various parts of the island to provide greater accessibility and convenience

Singapore's nationwide vaccination drive kicked off on Dec 30 last year. If all goes to plan, Singapore will have enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone by the third quarter of this year.

Those who have already started receiving their jabs include healthcare workers in public and private hospitals, Home Team officers involved in front-line healthcare operations, and staff from Ren Ci's Bukit Batok nursing home.

On Wednesday, a vaccination exercise also kicked off for eligible Singapore Airlines staff, including cabin crew and pilots at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 4.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine -- the only one approved here to date -- requires two injections, given 21 days apart. Singapore is expecting more Covid-19 vaccine deliveries in the next few months, including from US biotechnology firm Moderna and China's Sinovac.

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