SINGAPORE – Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of the Charity Council and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), has full faith in Singapore’s medical system.

Hence, the 71-year-old hopes to be one of the “front-runners” among seniors to receive the Covid-19 vaccine – to inspire confidence in it among his friends who may be worried about its safety.

“I’m very confident that our people have done a very thorough job before approving the vaccine…and we have a reliable healthcare system,” he said. “And (getting vaccinated) is not only to protect myself, but my family too.”

Mr Ee said there are all sorts of contradictory information on the vaccine circulating on social media.

But he chooses to place his trust in the medical professionals in Singapore to assess its safety, as there is just too much data for the man on the street to understand it thoroughly.

The retired accountant said: “It’s foolish for a lay person to see or listen to things they may not understand on social media and trust it.

“The greatest fear is fear itself. Throughout history, there are often a lot of negativities surrounding a (new) inoculation at first.”

In 2007, Mr Ee was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer but it has been in remission for over a decade now.

A Health Ministry advisory says those whose cancer is in remission can be vaccinated, noted Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

Mr Ee is chairman of the AIC, which was set up by the Health Ministry to co-ordinate and support efforts in care integration.

“And even though I’m the AIC chairman, I can say no and don’t have it (the vaccination). We are not forced,” he said.

“Common sense tells me it’s for my own good and for my family’s good.”

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