More Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in Singapore soon, including those by Moderna, Sinovac: Gan Kim Yong

Singapore received its first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020.
Singapore received its first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - More vaccines are expected to arrive in Singapore in the next few months, including those by United States firm Moderna and China's Sinovac, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Monday (Jan 4).

The Republic received its first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in December.

Mr Gan said in Parliament that there will be enough Covid-19 vaccines for Singaporeans and long-term residents of Singapore by the third quarter of 2021 if all goes according to plan.

"The vaccines will arrive in Singapore in batches, given high global demand, especially from countries with high rates of infection," he said.

Pharmaceutical companies will also need time to scale up vaccine production and distribution, Mr Gan added in his ministerial statement on the Covid-19 situation here.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first vaccine against the coronavirus that has been approved for use in Singapore.

Forty employees of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases were the first to receive doses of the vaccine last Wednesday, including Professor Leo Yee Sin, the centre's executive director.

Some vaccines, including the Covid-19 shot by Pfizer-BioNTech, require each person to receive two doses 21 days apart. 

“It will take up to another 14 days after the second dose to achieve maximum protection against the virus,” said Mr Gan. 

And while receiving a Covid-19 vaccination is voluntary, Mr Gan urged people here to step up when a vaccine is offered to them. 

He said: “At the same time, we will test our systems thoroughly before ramping up to ensure that vaccination operations proceed smoothly and patient safety is not compromised.”