PM Lee Hsien Loong Says S’pore’s Investing In Developing Covid-19 Vaccine

While Singapore has one of the highest Covid-19 cases in Asia with 37,183 confirmed cases so far, let’s not forget that many other countries across the world are also adversely impacted by the virus.

As a nation fully engaged with the rest of the world, Singapore is thus playing its part in the global fight against Covid-19.

One way we’re helping is our contribution of S$18 million (US$13 million) towards global anti-Covid-19 efforts, as well as research and development into finding a vaccine to eliminate the scourge, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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Singapore contibutes $18 million to donations of essential items

In a video message at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 posted on Thursday (4 Jun), Mr Lee said Singapore’s contribution of S$18 million went towards the World Health Organisation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the donation of essential medical equipment and supplies.

In this way, Singapore is doing our part in forging a united global response to Covid-19, he added.

Here’s the full video of Mr Lee’s speech:

Heavy investment in R&D

Singapore is also investing heavily in research and development into vaccines, as well as ways to test for and treat the disease.

In terms of diagnostics, Singapore has been a leader in that regard, with our serological and nucleic acid-based test kits that can quickly test for a Covid-19 infection.

These test kits have already been sent to over 20 countries, Mr Lee said.

Singapore researchers are also commencing clinical trials on different methods of treatment, like that based on therapeutic monoclonal antibodies — a treatment that will stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack virus cells.

MS News had previously reported on Duke-NUS Medical School’s collaboration with international partners in developing a Covid-19 vaccine.

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Ramping up vaccine manufacturing capabilities

Mr Lee also told the summit that Singapore is building up our vaccine manufacturing capacity.

He elaborated in the video that we plan to make use of drug product manufacturing services under fee-for-service contracts,

We intend to offer fill-and-finish contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers.

In this way, he said, the vaccine developers can ramp up production more quickly, while being assured of high standards of safety and quality while manufacturing vaccines.

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PM Lee calls for “vaccine multilateralism”

Mr Lee also emphasised how Covid-19 is a fight that demands cooperation on a global scale.

With his call for “vaccine multilateralism”, he expressed a hope that different countries would work together, and focus their minds and resources towards the task at hand — finding a vaccine.

For only through the development and distribution of a vaccine can the world get back to normal, he added.

S’pore’s playing a part in world health

We certainly hope a vaccine can be produced as soon as possible, and we’re sure we can say the same for most Singaporeans.

So we can be proud of our small nation playing a part in the world working towards that goal.

Featured image adapted from YouTube.