SINGAPORE - More than 60,000 people have received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine since Singapore kicked off its vaccination drive, and this number is expected to rise substantially in the coming weeks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Jan 22).
While delays are expected for vaccine shipments due to supply issues, the Government is monitoring the situation closely to ensure that Singapore has enough jabs for all Singaporeans and long-term residents here by the third quarter of 2021.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong revealed that about 10,000 individuals received their vaccines on Wednesday, and that this number will continue to go up daily.
"These numbers are expected to rise substantially in the coming weeks, as we continue to ramp up our vaccination capacity and operations while maintaining the highest standards of safety," said Mr Gan, co-chair of the multi-ministerial task force tackling the pandemic.
MOH also said that 39 staff at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases have already received their second dose of the vaccine.
This means that they have completed the full vaccination regimen, and in two weeks' time, they will have built up maximum protection.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine - the only one approved here to date - requires two injections, given 21 days apart. Singapore is expecting more Covid-19 vaccine deliveries in the next few months, including from US biotechnology firm Moderna and China's Sinovac.
The ministry said that there will be some delays in the shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because of upgrading works at Pfizer's manufacturing plant. But both the ministry and Mr Gan said that this will not affect Singapore's vaccination plans.
Eight vaccination centres will be set up by the end of February. They include the four announced earlier at Changi Airport Terminal 4, Raffles City Convention Centre, Hong Kah Secondary School and Woodlands Galaxy Community Club.
Another four centres will be ready in February, and more centres will be opened as Singapore expands its vaccination programme.