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Singapore – The first shipment of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Singapore ahead of schedule.

On Wednesday (Feb 17), a Singapore Airlines (SIA) freighter arrived at Changi Airport at about 1:40 pm after a transit stop in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) initially announced on Feb 3 that the first shipment of Moderna’s vaccines would arrive around March 2021, given there were no delays.

The Moderna vaccine is the second Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in Singapore after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Moderna vaccine has shown a high efficacy rate of 94 per cent, with the benefits outweighing the risks, said the Health Sciences Authority, in its review of clinical data.

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According to Education Minister Lawrence Wong, another batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also arrived on Wednesday.

“These shipments will enable us to progressively roll out our vaccination programme, with vaccination for seniors in the community set to begin later next week,” said Mr Wong in a Facebook post.

He confirmed that more shipments of the two vaccines would arrive over the coming months. “We will continue to monitor our supplies closely, to meet our target of vaccinating all Singaporeans and long-term residents by the end of this year.”

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung took to Facebook on Wednesday (Feb 18) to welcome the first shipment. He announced that the batch arrived via SQ7137 from Brussels, Belgium.

“Singapore Airlines and SATS have been busy with cargo deliveries,” said Mr Ong. “This has put to good use our capabilities to handle temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and the connectivity with cities around the world.”

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This also means Singapore is ready to ramp up vaccination for Singaporeans, he added.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also posted on Facebook to confirm that the country’s vaccination programme is “proceeding smoothly.”

“The latest delivery will allow us to continue as planned. More vaccination centres will open soon across Singapore. I hope seniors will book their appointments when their turn comes so that we can all stay protected together,” said Mr Lee. /TISG

Read related: 94% drop in symptomatic Covid-19 cases with Pfizer vaccine: Israeli study

94% drop in symptomatic Covid-19 cases with Pfizer vaccine: Israeli study

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