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17 JAN 2021

SINGAPORE: A number of Malaysians working in Singapore have started receiving the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Those who received the injection are mostly working in the sector that is given priority to receive the vaccine in this republic. Some of them started sharing the experience of taking the injection on the Malaysian-Singapore Border Crossers Facebook page, which now has almost 82,000 members. According to Imra Astata Ibrahim, who works in the marine sector, he took the first injection on Jan 13 and will take the second dose after 21 days. When contacted by Bernama, Imra Astata, 40, who is renting a room in Jurong West here, said he did not hesitate to get the vaccine with 10 of his Malaysian In fact, the father of three has high hopes that by getting vaccinated, it will be easier for him to travel back and forth to Johor as before. "Who knows there will be an understanding between the two countries to facilitate the movement of commuters for workers who have received this vaccine," he said. Imra Astata only returned to the republic on Sept 24, 2020 after strict measures at both borders were introduced in March last year to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Asked if there were any effects after taking the vaccine, Imra Astata said before taking it, he and his colleagues had been informed of the possible side effects. "So far my friends and I are healthy after taking the jab. Only on the first day I did feel a slight numb and pain at the injection area,” said Imra Astata, who hails from Johor. The Singapore government has made provision for all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore to get vaccinated by end-2021, if there are no unforeseen disruptions to vaccine shipments. Singapore received the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Dec 21. To ensure accessibility of the vaccine and enable the republic to achieve a higher rate of inoculation for the population, this vaccination will be free. According to the republic’s Ministry of Health, as of Jan 12, 2021, more than 6,200 individuals have received their first dose of the vaccine here. These numbers are expected to rise substantially in the coming weeks as it continues to ramp up its vaccination operations, it said. In line with the recommendations by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination to prioritise vaccinations of groups that are most at risk, Singapore has begun vaccinating healthcare workers progressively from Dec 30, 2020. - Bernama


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