More than 26,000 Home Team front-liners get Covid-19 vaccine jab

An officer from the Singapore Police Force at the vaccination centre at the Home Team Academy. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
ICA officers at the vaccination centre at Changi Airport T4. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
SPS officers at the Home Team Academy. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE

SINGAPORE - About 26,200 Home Team officers have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as at Friday (Feb 26).

Of these, 19,058 officers have received their second doses, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement on Saturday.

MHA's vaccination exercise started with 80 officers involved in front-line healthcare operations receiving vaccinations on Jan 11.

They were among about 1,050 to be vaccinated first, including Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) Emergency Medical Services officers, staff from the Home Team Medical Services Division, and other front-line officers.

They included staff from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and the Singapore Prison Service (SPS).

Subsequently, front-line officers performing enforcement and essential services duties were also vaccinated.

On Saturday, an MHA spokesman told The Straits Times that overall, 83 per cent of all medically eligible officers who work in frontline healthcare and enforcement, as well as essential services, have chosen to receive the vaccination.

Senior leaders from various services under MHA were also vaccinated, including the commissioners and heads of department of the SCDF, Singapore Police Force, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), SPS, Central Narcotics Bureau and HTX.

Among them was Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck, who received his second shot at the Home Team Academy on Feb 17.

He said: "Taking up the vaccine will not only protect ourselves, our loved ones and our colleagues from Covid-19, but also bolster our national efforts in battling the virus."

Referring to the high take up rate for vaccination among SCDF officers, Commissioner of SCDF Eric Yap added: "This is a clear statement of our resolve, commitment and determination to ensure that SCDF, together with other Home Team agencies, build a collective Home Team defence against Covid-19."

Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck received his second Covid-19 vaccination shot at the Home Team Academy, on Feb 17, 2021. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Commissioner of SCDF Eric Yap received his first Covid-19 vaccination shot at HQ SCDF on Jan 11, 2021. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

Also receiving the vaccine was Commissioner of Prisons Shie Yong Lee.

She said: "I am glad that all SPS staff who have undergone the vaccination have not had any major adverse reactions."

MHA permanent secretary Pang Kin Keong, who is also chairman of the Homefront Crisis Executive Group, said: "I am very glad that the large majority of our front-line Home Team officers have decided to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

"They perform roles critical for our country's safety and security, and together with colleagues from other ministries have been helping us to manage the pandemic, and getting vaccinated is therefore an important step."

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