1st Covid-19 Vaccine Shipment Arrives In Singapore On 21 Dec

As some Singaporeans ate tang yuan to mark the Winter Solstice yesterday (21 Dec), workers at Changi Airport were busy moving large batches of a prized item — the Covid-19 vaccine.

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Ahead of plans to vaccinate all locals and long-term residents, the arrival was a momentous occasion.

But since the plans aren’t concrete yet, the shipment will remain in safe storage until the authorities are ready to roll them out.

Shipment to undergo thorough inspection

In a Facebook post on Monday (21 Dec), the Ministry of Health (MOH) shared details of the vaccine shipment.

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Its arrival at 8pm heralded a new beginning, and concluded months of hard work trying to procure a vaccine deemed safe and effective.

Much like how you check that your chilli sauce has been delivered with your order, officials will have to thoroughly inspect the shipment.

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This is to ensure that everything is in good condition, with the cold chain running smoothly.

Covid-19 vaccine shipment to be in safe storage first

Once inspections are complete, officials will transport them to a special, ultra-cold storage facility with -80°C temperatures.

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There, they’ll stay until authorities kickstart the vaccination exercise. Since -80°C is super cold, the Covid-19 vaccines will require thawing before use.

After that, they may last up to 5 days in a 2°C to 8°C temperature.

Enough for all locals & long-term residents

As this is only the first shipment, we can expect more to come in the near future, with enough to vaccinate all Singapore citizens and local residents.

MOH predicts that this nationwide coverage can be completed by end-2021, if shipments continue to reach here without any major disruptions.

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Frontline workers like healthcare staff will get vaccinated first, due to their higher risk of exposure to Covid-19 at work. The rest of the nation will then get our turns accordingly.

By the end of next year, there’ll hopefully be enough for all Singaporeans and long-term residents to receive our free vaccinations.

Vaccination voluntary but highly encouraged

Like many forms of medication, the vaccine may cause some side effects which might hinder people from taking them.

But as long as they have no detrimental impacts, the authorities encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated.

Though not a be-all and end-all to the pandemic, this development is an encouraging one after we’ve endured a tumultuous year. Here’s to hoping that 2021 will be much better.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.