Singapore has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and is expecting the first shipments to arrive by the end of December, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Friday.
“I am very happy to tell you that after studying the scientific evidence and clinical trial data, the Health Sciences Authority has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for pandemic use, the first shipment should arrive by the end of this month,” Lee announced in a televised address to the nation.
“We also expect other vaccines to arrive in Singapore in the coming months; if all goes according to plan, we will have enough vaccines for everyone in Singapore by the third quarter of 2021,” Lee said.
Shots will first be administered to those at “greatest risk,” including healthcare workers, frontline personnel, and the elderly population, according to the Prime Minister.
Vaccines will be free of charge to all Singaporeans and permanent residents, but will not be compulsory, Lee said.
Lee also announced that Singapore will start "Phase 3" of reopening and a further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions starting on December 28.
Under the relaxed restrictions:
- Groups of up to eight will be allowed to meet in public, up from current limit of five.
- Capacity limits will be eased in public places e.g. shopping malls and places of worship.
As of December 13, Singapore has reported 58,325 cases of coronavirus and 29 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.