Singapore begins Covid-19 vaccinations

Singapore begins Covid-19 vaccinations

Senior staff nurse Sarah Lim of Singapore's National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) receives a Covid-19 vaccination, administered by senior staff nurse Kho Wei Lian (left), at the NCID Day Treatment Centre in Singapore, as the city state began its vaccination exercise with the first batch of healthcare workers on Wednesday. (Photo by Kevin LIM / The Straits Times / AFP)
Senior staff nurse Sarah Lim of Singapore's National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) receives a Covid-19 vaccination, administered by senior staff nurse Kho Wei Lian (left), at the NCID Day Treatment Centre in Singapore, as the city state began its vaccination exercise with the first batch of healthcare workers on Wednesday. (Photo by Kevin LIM / The Straits Times / AFP)

SINGAPORE: Singapore began vaccinating healthcare workers with Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday, kicking off one of Asia's first inoculation programmes against a pandemic that has killed more than 1.7 million people globally.

Sarah Lim, a 46-year-old nurse, and 43-year-old infectious diseases doctor Kalisvar Marimuthu were among the more than 30 staff at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases who were vaccinated on Wednesday, the health ministry said.

They will return for the second dose of the vaccine on Jan 20.

"Vaccines have managed to bring pandemics down to their knees before. So I am hopeful that this vaccine will do the same," Marimuthu said in recorded remarks provided by the health ministry.

Singapore is the first country in Asia to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. It has also signed advance purchase agreements and made early down-payments on several other vaccine candidates, including those being developed by Moderna and Sinovac.

It expects to have enough vaccine doses for all its 5.7 million people by the third quarter of 2021.

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