SINGAPORE - Singapore is in discussions with the major suppliers of coronavirus vaccines and could possibly play a role in distributing them, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Dec 21).
Singapore's role would not be in the production itself, added Mr Chan, as he addressed a question on the Republic's possible role in vaccine production and distribution given the surge in Covid-19 infections in the United States and Europe.
While vaccine production is done in the US and Europe, "it is a possibility" for Singapore to help in "fill-and-finish" manufacturing, which refers to the packing part of production, said Mr Chan.
"We will be able to do that from Singapore to help distribute the vaccines to the region," he said.
Mr Chan was speaking at a press conference during a visit to the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) where he announced a new research and development lab set up by A*Star and alternative protein firm Perfect Day.
On vaccine distribution, Mr Chan said he had visited logistics giant FedEx last week, where he found out about the scale of the operations and capabilities required to distribute vaccines.
"We are quietly confident that we do have the capabilities in Singapore, not just to bring the vaccines into Singapore, but also if need be, help distribute the vaccines to the region, using the capabilities that we have built up over the years,'' he said.
Singapore has announced that the first shipment of vaccines from US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech will arrive in the Republic by the end of the year.