Singapore started vaccinating healthcare employees with Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, kicking off one among Asia’s first inoculation programmes towards a pandemic that has killed greater than 1.7 million individuals globally.
Sarah Lim, a 46-year-old nurse, and 43-year-old infectious illnesses physician Kalisvar Marimuthu had been among the many greater than 30 employees on the National Centre for Infectious Diseases who had been vaccinated on Wednesday, the well being ministry stated.
They will return for the second dose of the vaccine on January 20.
“Vaccines have managed to bring pandemics down to their knees before. So I am hopeful that this vaccine will do the same,” Marimuthu stated in recorded remarks offered by the well being ministry.
Singapore is the primary nation in Asia to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It has additionally signed advance buy agreements and made early down funds on a number of different vaccine candidates, together with these being developed by Moderna and Sinovac.
It expects to have sufficient vaccine doses for all 5.7 million individuals by the third quarter of 2021.
Singapore acted swiftly after the primary instances of the virus had been reported, and though it was blindsided by tens of hundreds of infections in migrant employees’ dormitories, it has reported only a handful of recent native instances in latest months. The nation has one of many world’s lowest COVID-19 fatality charges; solely 29 individuals have died of the virus.
To present the vaccine is protected, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 68, stated he and his colleagues could be among the many early recipients of the pictures. They can be free and voluntary, however the authorities is encouraging all medically eligible residents to take them.
Wednesday’s vaccinations mark “a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic,” Lee stated in a Facebook publish. “The vaccine is key to living in a COVID-19 world, but it will still be some time before this storm will pass.”
China is inoculating particular teams of individuals thought-about at excessive threat of an infection, equivalent to medical employees and border inspectors, beneath an emergency use programme began in July. Its vaccines are nonetheless in late-stage medical trials.
In Japan and South Korea, the US army has begun its first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, prioritising frontline medical employees.
Some Philippine troopers and cupboard ministers have already acquired COVID-19 vaccine injections even earlier than regulatory approval.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)