Singapore Begins Covid-19 Vaccinations as One of Asia’s First

Singapore started its planned vaccination exercise with a group of healthcare workers getting the first shots, making the city-state one of the first countries in Asia to begin protecting its population from the coronavirus.

The first healthcare worker vaccinated was a 46-year-old senior staff nurse who carries out screening for suspect Covid-19 cases, according to a statement on Wednesday from Singapore’s health ministry. More than 30 workers will be vaccinated.

Singapore is now one of the first countries in Asia to kick off inoculation efforts against the virus, which has infected more than 80 million people around the world and killed close to 1.8 million. The U.K. started the Western world’s earliest vaccination program with a 91-year-old woman earlier this month.

Some cities in China have started rolling out emergency use vaccinations and government has offered employees of some large state-run companies the option of being inoculated with two coronavirus vaccines currently in development.

The Southeast Asian nation, which this week eased measures to curb the spread of the virus, approved the use of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s vaccine. The vaccinations started off with health care workers, while the elderly, beginning with those aged 70 and above, are set to get their shots from February.

Singapore has set aside more than S$1 billion ($755 million) for vaccines and said there should be enough for its population of about 5.5 million people by the third quarter. It has recorded more than 58,500 cases of the virus and 29 deaths.

— With assistance by Claire Che

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