Singapore—Madam Ho Ching, the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, took to social media on Monday morning (Jan 4) on a note of “optimism and caution” for the beginning of the year.
Mdm Ho used the phrase “optimism and caution” more than once across several posts, especially since vaccinations have already begun to be administered in Singapore.
And the Temasek Holdings CEO also used her posts to help educate others regarding how soon a person’s immune response kicks in, since “immunity or vaccine protection is NOT instantaneous,” as she pointed out.
Mdm Ho explained that for the vaccine from Pfizer, which is being used in Singapore, 50 per cent protection occurs within 10 to 14 days after the first dose, and then the second dose four weeks later brings immunity up to 95 per cent.
“So all in, we would need to wait for about 2 months from 1st jab to about 2-3 weeks after the 2nd shot, to have protection against serious infection for 95% of the vaccinated folks,” she added.
In her next post, she wrote, ”Stay safe in school and at work, as we start the year with hope and care.
With the vaccines starting to be available, we can face 2021 with optimism and caution.”
Mdm Ho warned that vaccinating all of Singapore would likely take until the end of this year. Moreover, while the vaccine “can greatly prevent serious illness from Covid-19,” this does not mean nobody will have a serious illness any longer.
“However, low serious illness rates does not mean zero serious illness. So our optimism must be paired with caution.”
It is unknown, she added, whether a person who has received the vaccinations can still be highly infectious.
“In other words, when we are vaccinated, we may ourselves be protected against serious illness from Covid. But we may still carry a high enough viral load to infect others.”
Therefore, mask-wearing is still necessary in order to protect others.
“We can think of the function of our masks as follows: Cover up our nose to protect ourselves; Cover up our mouth to protect others.”
Mdm Ho also commended “some thoughtful ladies” who wore face shields while exercising, even if they did not wear masks.
“Kudos and double thumbs up! They are protecting others from their own large droplets as the face shields catches most of the large droplets right upfront.
Keep safe, and deep thanks to everyone who takes Covid precautions for themselves, their families, their friends and strangers in our midst.”