Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the first member of the Cabinet to receive the Covid-19 vaccination on Friday (Jan 8).
He was vaccinated at Singapore General Hospital along with Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak.
The pair will require a second dose of the vaccine in the next few weeks.
Speaking to reporters about how he would be coming back in three weeks’ time for a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, PM Lee said: ” It’s painless, it’s effective and it’s important”.
PM Lee’s vaccination follows those of 40 NCID staff on Dec. 31, 2020.
“I took the opportunity to have my own jab this morning and now I’m done – 30 minutes waited, nothing happened”, PM Lee said, according to a CNA report.
So far no severe side-effects or reactions of the vaccine have been reported in Singapore.
Public healthcare institutions, including hospitals and polyclinics, will start vaccinations for their staff on Friday. SGH estimated about 90 of its employees will get vaccinated on the first day.
Initially, a small-scale test run at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases was conducted, where 40 employees received their jabs on Dec 30 last year.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Singapore late last year and the first shipment arrived on Dec 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.
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.
PM Lee urged Singaporeans: “It will make us safer, and it will make you and your loved ones safer. So please take it when you can”.