More than 350,000 Singapore residents have received first vaccine dose: Gan Kim Yong

Nicholas Yong
·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong speaking at a multi-ministry taskforce press conference on 11 November 2020. (PHOTO: MCI)
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong speaking at a multi-ministry taskforce press conference on 11 November 2020. (PHOTO: MCI)

SINGAPORE — As of 4 March, more than 350,000 Singapore residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in Parliament on Friday (5 March).

This includes some 80 per cent of the country's healthcare workers, while 215,000 have received their second doses.

Speaking during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate for the Ministry of Health, Gan added that over 40,000 seniors aged 70 and above have received their first dose as of 4 March. Vaccination will soon be rolled out to seniors aged 60 and above.

"Let me emphasise that only COVID-19 vaccines that meet strict standards of safety and effectiveness will be used for Singapore residents," said the minister, who co-chairs the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on the coronavirus.

Last month, the Republic received its first batch of the controversial Sinovac vaccine, whose efficacy remains unclear. To date, only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been authorised for use in Singapore – they were approved in December and February, respectively.

The government has declined to reveal how many vaccine doses it has or how much it paid for them, citing the obligations of commercial contracts.

In January, Education Minister and MTF co-chair Lawrence Wong admitted that there is a lot of uncertainty both over the duration of protection following COVID-19 vaccination and whether those who have received the injections can still transmit the virus.

While early data from some countries such as Israel suggest promising results from vaccination, Singapore will “still need time to look at all of these critical unknowns and to resolve them,” cautioned Wong.

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