Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took his COVID-19 vaccination this morning at the Singapore General Hospital in a bid to encourage the rest of Singapore to do the same – when they are available. 

The procedure was done in front of cameras for Singapore to see that the vaccine is “safe and effective,” according to the 68-year-old leader. He is among the first Singaporeans to be jabbed after vaccination began Dec. 30 with senior nurse Fatimah Mohd Shah of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. 

Lee will return for another dose of his Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in three weeks. Kenneth Mak, director of medical services for the Health Ministry, along with 88 healthcare workers, was also vaccinated today. The Pfizer vaccine is believed to be about 95% effective.

“Got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today, together with Director of Medical Services A/Prof Kenneth Mak. We got vaccinated early to show Singaporeans we are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective,” he said. 

Singapore’s vaccination exercise is being rolled out in phases starting with healthcare workers. At a later date, the elderly will be eligible followed by the rest of the population. 

Singapore is the first country in Asia to receive vaccines which approved after passing complete clinical trials. The government has refused to disclose how many doses it has received beyond characterizing the amount as “enough.” The initial batch arrived from Brussels on Dec. 21. 

The vaccine is free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, but not compulsory. 

Other stories you should check out:

Not possible to vaccinate everyone: Singapore Health Minister

Singapore gets COVID-19 vaccines, relaxed measures for Xmas: PM Lee

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