Singapore, Jan 8 (PTI) Urging Singaporeans to get inoculated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday received his first dose of the vaccine, becoming the first member of the Cabinet to take the jab.
Lee, 68, posted a video of himself being injected in the arm at a hospital on his official Facebook page.
'We got vaccinated early to show Singaporeans we are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective,' he said in a post accompanying the video.
According to Channel News Asia, Lee received the shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine along with Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff at the official launch of vaccinations for healthcare workers.
Talking to reporters at SGH, Lee said he was happy to see the start of inoculations for healthcare and frontline workers.
'I took the opportunity to have my own jab this morning and now I'm done – 30 minutes waited, nothing happened,' he said.
Urging Singaporeans to get inoculated, the prime minister said, 'It will make us safer, and it will make you and your loved ones safer. So please take it when you can.' Singapore has largely brought the coronavirus pandemic under control. Most of the recent COVID-19 cases has been arriving from overseas. The country has so far reported a total of 58,836 coronavirus cases, including 58,562 recoveries. The virus has claimed 29 lives in Singapore so far.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said earlier that plans for the Cabinet to get vaccinated in batches were in the works.
The Health Ministry’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak, who is part of the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19, also received his first dose of the vaccine on Friday.
Vaccinations for the elderly and those at greater risk of severe COVID-19 will start in February, beginning with seniors aged 70 and above. Vaccinations will be free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Singapore late last year and the first shipment arrived on December 21. The vaccine requires two doses taken 21 days apart, and it will take up to 14 more days after the second dose to achieve maximum protection against the virus. PTI GS SCY SCY