Malaysians working in Singapore get inoculated

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

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

Those who received the injection were mostly working in priority sectors in the republic.

Some of them shared the experience of taking the injection on the Malaysian-Singapore Border Crossers Facebook page, which now has almost 82,000 members.

Imra Astata Ibrahim, who works in the marine sector, 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, said he did not hesitate to get the vaccine with 10 of his Malaysian colleagues.

In fact, the father of three, who hails from Johor, had high hopes that by getting vaccinated, it would be easier for him to travel back and forth to Johor.

“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 were introduced at both borders in March last year to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before taking the jabs, he and his colleagues had been informed of the possible side effects.

“So far, my friends and I are fine after taking the jab. Only on the first day, I did feel a slight numb and pain at the injected area,” said Imra Astata.

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 Inc and BioN-Tech SE Covid-19 vaccine on Dec 21 last year.

To ensure accessibility of the vaccine and enable the republic to achieve a higher rate of inoculation for the population, this vaccination will be provided free of charge.

According to the republic’s Ministry of Health, as of Jan 12, more than 6,200 individuals in Singapore have received their first dose of the vaccine.

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.