Senior staff nurse, 46, first in S'pore to receive Covid-19 vaccination shot


Belmont Lay | December 30, 2020, 11:22 AM

The first front line healthcare worker in Singapore has been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Dec. 30, 2020.

The vaccination exercise for Singapore’s healthcare workers has begun with workers from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) being the first group to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

This first group comprised about 30 NCID staff.

First to receive the jab

The first to receive the jab is a senior staff nurse, Sarah Lim, 46.

Lim screens suspect Covid-19 cases with a team at NCID.

Lim told reporters after getting the shot: "I feel grateful and thankful for being the first to be vaccinated, I would encourage them to go for it."

"It's not very painful."

More healthcare institutions will be covered in the subsequent weeks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Dec. 27.

She added in Mandarin: "I wanted to take the injection to protect myself, my loved ones, patients and the public.

"It gives me greater peace of mind."

Vaccine kept cold

The vaccine was delivered about an hour after it was removed from the refrigerator at 8:30am.

It had to reach room temperature first before use.

The nurse administering the shot took several minutes to prepare the injection, which is the norm.

The healthcare workers had to rest for 30 minutes in an observation room after the shot.

Other healthcare workers vaccinated

Another front line worker to be vaccinated was Kalisvar Marimuthu, a 43-year-old senior consultant who manages suspect and confirmed Covid-19 cases.

"I'm feeling lucky... feeling a bit emotional because the vaccine is potentially a game-changer," he said.

Another healthcare worker to receive the shot is Mohamed Firdaus Bin Mohamed Salleh, 38, a senior staff nurse at NCID.

The father of four said: "This gives me the assurance that I can go home safely to my kids."

Vaccination rolled out progressively

More healthcare workers will soon be vaccinated.

“Public healthcare institutions – including acute hospitals, community hospitals and polyclinics – as well as private hospitals, will progressively arrange for their staff to be vaccinated within their respective premises,” MOH added.

MOH said that it will also start vaccinations for those aged 70 and above from February 2021.

“Thereafter we will vaccinate other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible for vaccination. More details will be shared in due course,” it said in the release.

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Top photo via MCI