Singapore PM receives first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

CNA – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine yesterday, becoming the first member of Singapore’s Cabinet to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lee received the jab along with Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff at the official launch of vaccinations for healthcare workers.

Public healthcare institutions, including hospitals and polyclinics, started vaccinations for their staff yesterday. SGH estimated about 90 of its employees got vaccinated on the first day.

The official roll out comes after a small-scale test run at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, where 40 employees received their jabs on December 30, 2020.

Speaking to reporters at SGH, Lee said he was happy to see the start of inoculations for healthcare and frontline workers.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong receives a vaccine for the coronavirus at Singapore General Hospital. PHOTO: AP

“I took the opportunity to have my own jab this morning and now I’m done – 30 minutes waited, nothing happened,” he said.

“I’ve got my card, and the appointment to come back in three weeks’ time. It’s painless, it’s effective and it’s important.”

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 yesterday.

“My Cabinet colleagues and I, including the older ones, will be getting ourselves vaccinated early. This is to show you, especially seniors like me, that we believe the vaccines are safe,” Lee said in a televised national address last month.