Singapore — With 80 per cent of its eligible population, or 4.4 million people, having received two Covid-19 vaccine shots, Singapore is now the most fully vaccinated country, according to a tracker from international news organisation Reuters.
Last Sunday, just in time for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech, the country “crossed another milestone,” as Health Minister Ong Ye Kung put it in a Facebook post. “80 per cent of our population has received their full regimen of two doses,” he wrote.
This “milestone” also comes in time for additional pandemic restrictions to be eased, reflecting the country’s pivot from a Covid-Zero strategy to treating the infection as endemic, or learning to live with the virus.
The first and arguably the most important part, of the new strategy, was getting jabs administered to as many people who were able to get inoculated against Covid-19, in order to keep numbers of those falling seriously ill and even dying, at a minimum.
This track has so far been successful, despite over a hundred new infections reported daily. The number of those critically ill with Covid has stayed small, and Singapore has one of the lowest case-fatality rates in the world, only 55 deaths from Covid-19 related causes since the pandemic began early last year.
The New York Times vaccination tracker, updated on Tuesday (Aug 31) shows Singapore’s number of fully vaccinated residents to be at 78 per cent. Its percentage rate is topped only by tiny Malta, where 82 per cent of its half a million residents are already fully vaccinated.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s vaccination rollout has outpaced many of its neighbours, according to the Reuters tracker.
In its nearest neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, 46.6 per cent and 13.1 per cent of the population, respectively, are fully vaccinated. Thailand, at 11.2 per cent and Vietnam, at 2.6 per cent fully vaccinated, lag behind even more.
Japan (45.4 per cent), Australia (27.8 per cent) and New Zealand (24.1 per cent), which all had the same Covid-Zero strategy as Singapore, are also having to catch up with vaccinating their citizens. /TISG
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