Singapore Secures Enough Vaccines For Whole Population
SINGAPORE – Great news for office landlords, employers, and workers: the city-state’s government has secured sufficient vaccines for its entire population, meaning it’s a step closer to a safer return to the workplace.
“We have secured enough vaccines for the whole population,” said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong during a parliamentary session on Monday (4 January) as he gave an update on the government’s COVID-19 response.
In particular, 5.7 million people consisting of Singapore Citizens, permanent residents (PRs) and long-term residents will get vaccinated for free. The last group includes foreign domestic workers, as well as holders of Work Permit, S-Pass, Employment Pass, Dependent Pass, Student Pass, and Long-Term Visit Pass. Tourists and Short-Term Visit Pass holders are excluded.
Although the bulk of the vaccines is expected to arrive by Q3 2021, the COVID-19 vaccines will arrive here in batches. More shipments are anticipated over the coming months, including the vaccines made by Sinovac and Moderna.
Notably, the first batch of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech – Singapore’s first approved COVID-19 vaccine – was delivered on 21 December. The authorities started administering them on 30 December, with medical frontlines from the National Centre of Infectious Diseases getting vaccinated first.
The government said groups who are most at-risk will be given priority for the vaccines, including healthcare workers, as well as essential personnel. The elderly and those with higher risk of severe complications will get vaccinated from February, starting with seniors age 70 and above.
“We will also prioritise others who are in jobs or settings where risk of a super-spreading event is high, such as the construction, marine and process (CMP) sector, including migrant workers. Thereafter we will progressively broaden our vaccinations to include other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible,” noted Gan.
“While the COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary, we strongly encourage everyone who is medically eligible to get vaccinated when the vaccine is offered to you. This will not only protect yourself, but also indirectly protect others who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons,” he added.